It used to be you were old, maybe even near the end of your life, before you could write your life story.
If you think your first 16 or 24 years on this planet is a good time to stop and reflect on your life so far, you write a book.
If you've lost the bid to become vice president and resign as governor, it is time to write a book.
If you have an interesting life up to a certain point, or just need some cash, it is time to write a book.
If Miley Cyrus can sign a deal to write her life's story at 16 and LeBron James feels now, at 24, is the right time to put out a book and movie on his high school days, and if Sarah Palin can go all "mavericky" on us and put any thoughts she has in a book, it is never too early to write your life story.
I am not saying these people have nothing to say or have not accomplished anything.
I appreciate the fact Cyrus is willing to share the pearls of wisdom she has acquired in her first 16 years with the world. Besides, what teenager does not know it all?
Many of these autobiographies are done not to reflect on a lifetime's of trials and tribulations and successes and accomplishments, but just to reveal them so far. It leaves the door open for more bios later and maybe even a movie in LeBron's case.
Not many of us could get by at 24 with writing a book and making a movie about their high school years.
I have spent many years trying to forget mine.
But not many people have appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated while in high school or had ESPN broadcast their high school basketball games.
The latest autobiography to make headlines is that of retired tennis great Andre Agassi.
In excerpts we learn he hated tennis but took a liking to crystal meth.
Not sure what this information does for the rest of us, but apparently he felt a need to get it off his chest.
But if you are going to write an autobiography, there has to be something to shock and amaze the public and make them want to buy the book.
Cyrus revealed that life is not all concerts and music videos. She has had her share of pain.
In the sixth grade she was bullied. Well, that's about it, but hey, sixth grade can be tough.
All these celebrity book deals has got me thinking I would like a piece of that lucrative market, and I could write it myself.
I don't really have anything to say, but I don't think that should be a deterrent.
I don't want to give away too much because then you won't want to buy the book, but here are a few of the juicy nuggets you can expect from my book and subsequent movie deal:
* I was born into a poor family and 47 years later have managed to stay that way.
* On my 8th birthday, I got a new bike and was riding it when I hit a piece of broken-up concrete, flew off the bike and skinned my face. No broken bones or need to rush me to the hospital. But it hurt — a lot.
* I got married and had kids and everyone is doing fine.
You know this whole autobiography thing is a lot harder than I thought.
If only I would have a traumatic sixth-grade year, I might be on to something.
Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is the former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.