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Everyone has a story to tell and a message to share.The challenge lies in getting that story and message out of your head and into print in a way that resonates with your audience.
They conclude with the author having learned, changed, or grown in some way and often present some truth or insight that challenges the reader to draw their own conclusions. Although the story itself is unique to the author’s experience, there’s some universal truth that speaks to us from just below the surface.
Topics like facing a fear, falling in love, overcoming an obstacle, discovering something new, or making a difficult choice tackle feelings and events that happen in everyone’s life.
Personal essays relate the author’s intimate thoughts and experiences to universal truths.
They aren’t simply a retelling of events, though—that falls more in the realm of memoir or autobiography.
Despite the fact that, as Shakespeare said, "the pen is mightier than the sword," the pen itself is not enough to make an effective writer.
In fact, though we may all like to think of ourselves as the next Shakespeare, inspiration alone is not the key to effective essay writing.
Aside from Peter, who supposedly guards the gates of heaven and is a pivotal figure in any number of jokes, the only saint who’s ever remotely interested me is Francis of Assisi, who was friends with the animals.
When I was young, my family didn’t go on outings to the circus or trips to Disneyland. Instead, we stayed in our small rural West Texas town, and my parents took us to cemeteries.
Here are seven tips to help you craft a personal essay that will connect with readers. Here’s a definition we like: A personal essay is a short work of autobiographical nonfiction characterized by a sense of intimacy and a conversational manner. A type of creative nonfiction, the personal essay is ‘all over the map,’ according to Annie Dillard. No subject matter is forbidden, no structure is prescribed.
Ask three different experts what a personal essay is and you’ll likely get three different answers. You get to make up your own form every time.’ —Richard Nordquist for Thought Co.