Monday, November 21, 2011
Have you ever thought about writing a personal essay? Until a few weeks ago, the thought had never crossed my mind. Then I just had this reminiscence about a major decision in my life in my early twenties and started writing. At first it was so harsh and close to me that it just felt like ranting. Then I focussed on trying to get it down to 1200 words in case I wanted to enter a contest. Then I started to edit and went into a free fall of writing boosting it up to 2700 words. I think what I've learned from all of this is that if you have something deep and personal that seems to be haunting you for some reason, just spill it onto the page. Don't worry if it sounds angry, or bitter or even weak-minded. Don't worry about following some contest guideline. Just put it out, take a rest and then look back at it again later. Now that I've looked back, accepted feedback and really focussed on the theme of the piece, it seems to be coming together quite nicely. So be thoughtful, write what you know, and be generous to yourself with writing time. And above all, be real.