Atkinson (1995) differentiates as follow:
- "A life story is the story a person chooses to tell about the life they have lived, what they remember of it, and what they want others to know of it" (p. xiv).
- "An autobiography is a more formal, written story of a person's life" (p. xv).
- "A personal myth is what is most deeply true about our own experience of our lives. It is our experience of our lives. It is our expression of those personally sacred and timeless elements of our lives. It focuses on the experiences, beliefs, motifs, and themes of a lifetime that have ordered, shaped, and directed our lives. Personal mythmaking is the process of recognizing, understanding, and embracing the ways archetypal; or universal, themes and motifs play themselves out in our life experiences. A personal myth is made up of the same three parts that form a traditional story or classic myth. It is our personal expression of how the pattern of separation — initiation — return has played itself out in our life." (p. xv)
Atkinson, R. 1995. The gift of stories — practical and spiritual applications of autobiography, life stories and personal myth making. Westport, Conn.: Bergin & Garvey.