[PDF] The Art of the Personal Essay Download Online

1. Do you read personal essays?
This seems like a ludicrous question to ask of someone who is considering writing a personal essay, but for some reason there exists a misconception that writing is an alchemical essence that flows forth without explanation from a yet-identified gland. But good writing does not just happen. Certainly, some people are inclined towards language in the way that others are inclined towards music or athletics, but even the best, most original writer spends some time getting familiar with what other similar writing might already exist. If you are thinking about publishing a personal essay online, you will likely find it beneficial to your success to spend some time reading other personal essays that have already been published (especially essays on topics that are similar to yours). Knowledge of the genre, its landscape, and its shortcomings can help you to understand what you do and do not like, and what may or may not work well for you.

A series about publishing personal essays online in 2015.

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2. Why do you want to publish a personal essay online?
A second misconception that persists is the idea that that published writing is somehow the most noble way to tell your story. Often, movies and television and even books themselves treat “publishing a piece of writing” as the triumphant reward for a writerly-ish protagonist who has overcome some personal difficulty. This narrative is a highly romanticized value judgement that is not based in reality. In most cases, even for professional writers, a published piece of personal writing is not the ideal way to contend with a difficult or meaningful life experience. This is doubly the case if your story is not extravagantly unique, or if you are not accustomed to writing for a public audience.

17 Personal Essays That Will Change Your Life - BuzzFeed

This guide comes at you in the form of questions. None of these questions have right or wrong answers, and ultimately I do not have any stake in whether or not you or anyone else eventually publishes a personal essay online. This guide is essentially a refined version of the questions I ask myself before sitting down to write a first-person piece of nonfiction writing for publication on the web. The thoughts contained herein are necessarily informed by the highly specific condition of existing online and in the world as me. Existing as you is different, so I can’t really promise anything more than a set of concerns that my own experience has proven worth highlighting. Both feelings and the internet share an unpredictable volatility, so your own results will almost certainly vary.

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This is the second in a two-part series about publishing personal essays online

Personal Essays Free Essay Examples ..

personal essays online

Purdue OWL: Writing the Personal Statement

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