So you have a story that you want to tell? Awesome. Here’s the thing: the elements of a personal essay should be more than just having a story to tell. Be honest and don’t be afraid to have humility. Tell us through raw memory and description of what you learned and how you changed. Inspire others by admitting something that most women have a hard time admitting.
Also, don’t talk AT the reader and tell them what they SHOULD do. You don’t need to educate them, our readers are extremely intelligent. Just describe to your reader what YOU learned, what YOU felt and how YOU got to the place where you’re able to talk about it.
Tell it like it is (was) and not through the lens of someone who is smarter or knows more than the rest. Pretend you are having a glass of wine with someone (or four) and you’re just letting it all go, you’re saying, “Ahhh fuck it, I’m going to tell you everything.” Tell us about your concerns, fears, and struggles through specific, true-life examples rather than abstract thoughts or generalizations about how you think people and the world operate around you. Essays don’t just have to be a concrete story, they can be speculative as well, posing questions about experiences and regrets that haunt you. Describe the scene, what things looked like, how it made you feel. Always keep in mind that the reader doesn’t know you from Adam SO, that means you must illustrate your characteristics, feelings, reactions ect. Do not assume we know; you must show us.
Always remember: DO NOT TELL US, SHOW US.
By revealing and using concrete anecdotes and honesty, you can create a piece that will have our readers gripped and wanting more.
If you’d like to read more about the different types of essays and the elements that should be present, this is a really good post.
Please try and keep it under 1000 words.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email me. I’m always here!
Oh and PLEASE DO NOT USE … EVER. I’m old school when it comes to that. Use dot dot dot in your emails all day long, but when it comes to an essay, please refrain.