Writing about oneself can be a real challenge for those who have never considered pursuing a writer’s career. Especially if readers are unknown. Especially if your career or study depends on their impression based on the story you present. Read below 6 tips that will help you to improve the individual narrative and create a more engaging reading experience.
0. Follow Given Guidelines
Yes, we numbered it 0 because this is the basics of the basics as it will shape a way to proceed with the story. What do they ask you to write? How? Any specific structure, voice, information? Take those mentioned recommendations as a base to come up with a unique story.
ProTip: Read the guidelines of what you should include in the story. If they ask you to provide an explanation of why you are the perfect match for this or that job, make sure they will find it there. If there is a specific format of your vacation description, by all means, follow it. This will show two crucial skills: you are detail-oriented and capable to provide what’s required.
1. Define Purpose
What is the purpose of this personal essay? Is it your observations of the jazz players interacting with each other or a cover letter you need to send alongside your CV? Whether you want to inform, shock, or criticize, make sure you stick to the rules of the game. Remember: relevance is the key.
ProTip: Write 2 question lists: one for what you want to cover in the story, another – for what the reader might want to read with regard to the purpose. Proceed with those that coincide.
2. Mind Target Audience
An individual narrative is a mini-performance on paper. Its purpose defines its audience that, in its turn, defines the way to address it effectively. What to do to be on the same page with them? Imagine being one of them! It’s very likely that the journalist would hunt for a more informative, well-structured piece, whereas the fiction writer will rather appreciate the form, stylistic embellishments or the imagery used.
ProTip: Use the tone, voice, style, and vocabulary of your reader. Improvising is OK as long as you deliver the main show too.
3. Add Some Flavor
A bunch of essays about yourself is, usually, a bad edit of one of those free essays templates from the first Google search page. The worst? It’s easy to notice and not cool to read.
ProTip: Make your story as customized as possible so the people could see yourself (space intended) in this read. Dress it with some stories, examples, humor, and situations that happened with you, so people want to take a bite.
Maybe God, indeed, gave that rock’n’roll to us but he also gave us the ability to write and keep it short’n’simple. This is the formula that always works in the world where the time is on its own side.
ProTip: Write short sentences that inform a reader about specific things. A go-to way is to avoid vague or over-generalized statements, particularly if it comes to your motivation, goals or future plans. Stay as detailed as possible and leave the water to the elephants.
5. Write. Edit. Repeat.
It’s OK if you decided to follow the Hemingway’s advice as long as you do the second part too. While writing is a creative process, you still need to have many things under control. Is the spelling correct? What about the double negations or same words repeated three times in one sentence? All that does distract a reader from paying attention to the message.
ProTip: Here is something we recommend to do during the editing stage.
– Read your essay out loud and record it. When you listen to it, you’ll notice many things that slipped through uncaught, so you remove/change/replace them with the more appropriate option.
– Ask your friends to revise it. Chances are, they will spot that tiny tense misuse you haven’t.
– Use grammar checkers. To every writer’s relief, the edtech works well to make you get lost in the variety of the writing tools. They are handy to correct typos, grammar mistakes, or stylistic faults. However, we don’t recommend to fully rely on them. After all, they are machines that lack the linguistic flexibility. At least, yet.
Whatever the reason for writing the essay about yourself, always leave some space for showing how creative yet logical you are. After all, your aim is to communicate with the reader, so make everything possible on your end to build it in the easy-to-understand and fun-to-read way!