The Put-Ons Of Personal Essayists
” I sit at my desk now, surrounded by versions of paragraphs and pages of this book, considering that question.
Now there are dull ways of putting up your lighted sign: Shortly after I published my first autobiographical essay seven years ago, my mother wrote me a letter pleading with me never again to write about our family life. Our family life is private.” And besides: “Why do you need to tell the gringos about how ‘divided’ you feel from the family?Only by focusing on these anonymous readers, by acknowledging that you are creating something for them, something that has value, something that will enrich their existence and make them glad to have read what you have written, will you find a way to truly reach your audience.And that—truly reaching your audience and offering them something of value—is perhaps as good a definition of successful writing as I’ve ever heard.Despite this sobering stat, not all publications that run personal essays are this competitive.Out of every 15 essays I draft, I usually sell about 10. While I’d like to believe each of those 10 is a masterpiece, the truth is, I’ve learned to avoid the common essay pitfalls. Moore shares a variety of methods for crafting an essay that keeps the reader’s desires and preferences in mind, resulting in a resonate and truly memorable piece. Essays are for readers.” Good writing is never merely about following a set of directions.Like all artists of any form, essay writers occasionally find themselves breaking away from tradition or common practice in search of a fresh approach. But even groundbreakers learn by observing what has worked before.Likewise, identifying the missteps in other writers’ work makes you better at identifying the missteps in your own.Remember the Streetcar Tennessee Williams’ wonderful play, , comes from a real streetcar in New Orleans and an actual neighborhood named Desire.Here is his opening: A year ago today, my mother stopped eating.She was ninety-six, and so deep in her dementia that she no longer knew where she was, who I was, who she herself was.