7 Mistakes Personal Essay Writers MakeBy Angelica Malin
Writing a personal essay needs to have a very powerful message that will ultimately attract your readers and also have a message that resonates with them and what they are feeling or are going through. Here are some of the mistakes that most personal essay writers make that hinders their chances of getting published, winning contests as well as simply bring their writing to the next level.
Do not use an essay to vent
When you chose to write an essay, do it in a professional manner, this only means that you should not take sides while writing.
Taking a personal stand on the issue may cause you to block out a portion of your readers who might feel that their opinion differs with yours hence just keep off the essay altogether.
A personal essay is also meant to make the reader feel challenged and ultimately take their own stand, whether for or against the message being passed on in the article.
Starting the essay with a poor opener
Writers who have actually made it to the next level can tell you for a fact that if you want to get the attention of a reader, you have to start the first paragraph with oomph!
What you want to achieve with this dramatic start is to have a compelling dialogue that will want the reader to crave more of the story.
Hit the ground running, make sure you make the middle and more captivating part of your essay at the beginning and keep the momentum going until the end. These will for sure make your readers get glued and may even subscribe to your article even before you get to writing it.
Not telling your story
Personal writers often forget that their readers just want to relate and identify with their author. This means that the writer needs to actually tell their personal story and in detail, give personal revelation and this will keep your readers locked in the essay.
Write an essay that involves your day to day lifestyle, what you want to achieve is motivating your reader as well as make them recall events and life experiences they have had. If you manage to achieve this, you might be well on your way to the next level of essay writing.
While telling the story, the reader expects to read the dialogue as it took place, do not be afraid to tell the story through it. This makes the reader see the story as it should be. Quotes just need to be as you remember them; they do not have to be a word for word as it transpired.
For example, the doctor told me that I only had months to live.
What you need to say is…. “I’m sorry, you only have a few months left to live,” said the doctor.
Not having one theme
Do not bite more than you can chew. You are actually allowed to have a broad trail of thought but just narrow down the essay and write lean.
Figure out where the most interesting parts of your trail of thought are and write them down. What this means is that you do not need to tell the whole story, just tell the part that you think is most relevant, for example, events of your life that people would resonate with as well as vivid details of the events.
Do not try telling your whole life story in one essay that is too broad and not even possible, it becomes a rushed summary of events.
Not listening to feedback
The biggest mistake essay writers make is not listening to feedback, whether constructive or otherwise.
Most writers are in their own heads while they are writing; this means that they definitely know that what they have written is their best version.
This is wrong and should never be the case, every writer needs to get a serious critique, and this only makes their writing better and gives them an outside opinion of their work. Listen carefully to the criticism, then rewrite as many times as possible before publishing the work.
These are deeply intimate essays so do not take rejection personally; there are different reasons why your article may have attracted negative reception. For example, the editor on the desk might not feel like they actually relate to your story or might have just sent out a similar essay. What you need to do is soldier on and push until something gives.
Not keeping it 100% real
Putting your whole self into personal essay writing is what is required if you want to write this kind of articles. If you do not let the reader inside, you will lose them right at the beginning of the essay.
While writing these essays, raw emotions are required, do not censor material and give it as it is. Let yourself go as you write. Delve into the deepest part of your emotions and tell the reader what actually happened and how it feels. Trust me, if you keep this up, you will have made the reader feel like they are you as they read the essay, which is what we are ultimately looking for.
Writing unnecessarily long articles
A long article does not always mean that it is more detailed and has more information on it.
When writing especially a personal essay, one needs to polish and revise their work to avoid repetition and use of unnecessary phrases. Most essays have a word count limit and you should abide by those rules, they are there for a reason.
You can try cutting out extra paragraphs and words to reduce the length of the article and see if it still makes sense, if it does, run with it.
Some writers may feel that a certain phrase they have used is well deserved and actually feel good about it, if this happens, remove the phrase and if it does not change a thing, trim it.