Recently, I’ve read several articles about personal essay writing. They’ve ranged from writing tips to how to get your personal essay published. Now I don’t know if any of my readers are this way, but when I repeatedly run into the same theme across several different mediums over at least a few days I will usually succumb to the inspiration. In this case, I did, and I am inviting you to share in the inspiration with me.
My theory is that a personal essay is the best practice you can do as a writer. While it is important to exercise your imagination by coming up with new stories, that creative measure can be distracting. If your intent is to practice your wordsmithing, what better place to begin than in your memory. We know our own stories, certainly better than someone else’s and even better than those we could make up since we haven’t actually made them up yet. It seems to me an ideal way to play with narrative – description, dialog, and character – since you know the whole story so intimately.
So, I challenge you to pick an event – big or small – from your life and write it. The only recommendation I would put forth is to make sure the event you choose is one that was transforming in some way. Like any good story, your main character should be dynamic, and, in this case, that main character is you. Feel free to come back and share your experience in the comments. Let us know if you seek publication!