On Writing Personal Essays

I knew what I wanted to write about today, but I didn’t really know how I wanted to approach it. Since I am trying to figure out how to write a personal essay, I didn’t want to try to sound like I’m trying to tell anyone else how to write one.

In fact, please don’t ask me how to write an essay. Although I never taught a high school (or any) English class, I would revert back to the way I was taught to write an essay.

Your introductory paragraph, including your thesis statement
3-5 supporting paragraphs
Your concluding paragraph, including restating your thesis

That might make a passable academic essay, but it doesn’t translate well to writing a personal essay. Or any type of creative nonfiction, really.

I decided to ask a writers’ group I belong to about any tips they might have. I got suggestions on magazines to read (including The Sun) and essayists to read. But no real advice on how to go about it.

So, here I am, feeling like I’m flailing about and hoping I’m doing something right. (Or write, as the case may be.)

And now. I have to ask you. Do you write personal essays? What tips or advice would you have for me? (And, if you don’t mind, I might share your suggestions in a future post.)


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