Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to Write a Personal Essay - Part 1

I just finished up a short piece of creative non-fiction aka personal essay and I started thinking about how I started thinking about starting.

First comes the topic. If you’re writing for a particular publication the subject matter may already be decided for you. If the choice is yours and you have no restrictions you might choose a personal experience. A situation that is poignant, funny or inspirational would make a great story.

Perhaps you have a person you want to write about. We all have someone we admire. Perhaps it’s a friend who succeeded despite a debilitating illness, a teacher who influenced your career choice or maybe a parent who taught you a life lesson.

Your choices are endless – hobbies, pets, vacations, a special holiday or the day you bought your first house. Write about what you know and it will be a labor of love.

Next time – How to get past that blank page.