Some articles have a greater impact and reader engagement if written from personal experience. Writing from your own perspective can engage readers and convey your story authentically. Here are some tips and techniques to help you effectively write from personal experience:
- Reflect on your experiences: Take some time to reflect on the specific experiences you want to write about. Consider the emotions, thoughts, and details associated with those experiences. Gain deeper insights and make connections to the broader themes or messages you want to convey.
- Identify the purpose: Determine why you want to share your personal experiences through writing. What do you hope readers will gain or learn from your story? Having a clear purpose will guide your writing and help you stay focused. Would writing the article from personal experience give it a unique angle, therefore avoiding it sounding generic? Perhaps you’re writing an article about culture shock when moving abroad. You can discuss the stages of culture shock and adapting to a new life – and if you’ve moved abroad yourself, you can add examples of how you felt during these stages.
- Create a narrative structure: Organise your personal experiences into a coherent narrative structure. Consider using classic storytelling elements, such as an introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion. This structure will give your story a natural flow and keep readers engaged. You can either write from a general perspective and add anecdotes about your personal experience on the subject, or you can write the entire piece as a tale of your experience.
- Use vivid and sensory details: Bring your personal experiences to life by incorporating vivid and sensory details. Describe the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures associated with your experiences. This will help readers visualise and immerse themselves in your story. Remember to do this by using strong nouns and verbs, rather than excessive use of adjectives.
- Show, don’t tell: Instead of simply telling readers about your experiences, show them through descriptive language, dialogue, and action. Show how you felt, how others reacted, and how the events unfolded in a mini scene. This will make your story more engaging and relatable.
- Be honest and authentic: Authenticity is key when writing from personal experience. Be honest about your emotions, vulnerabilities, and mistakes. Readers appreciate genuine storytelling, and it helps them connect with your narrative on a deeper level. Depending on the topic, it’s not always easy to write from a personal perspective – it can, however, be rewarding and therapeutic, particularly if you’re writing about raw feelings and a difficult situation you’ve encountered.
- Explore widespread themes: While your personal experiences are unique to you, try to explore universal themes that others can relate to. Look for broader insights, lessons, or dilemmas that can resonate with a wider audience. This will make your story more relatable and impactful.
- Use dialogue effectively: Dialogue can bring your personal experiences to life by capturing conversations and interactions. Dialogue can reveal character traits, conflicts, and emotions. Ensure that the dialogue sounds natural and serves a purpose in advancing the story.
- Reflect on the impact and growth: After sharing your personal experiences, reflect on the impact they had on you. Discuss any personal growth, lessons learned or changes that occurred as a result. This reflection adds depth to your narrative and provides closure for readers. If applicable, you could include how the situation perhaps affected others differently from you.
- Edit and revise: Once you have written your story, edit and revise it thoroughly. Pay attention to clarity, coherence, and overall flow. Remove any unnecessary details or digressions that may distract readers from the main narrative. Polish your language and ensure your writing is concise and impactful. Only write from personal experience if the article lends itself to it. Be careful – or it could come across as a ‘dear diary’ post.
Remember, writing from personal experience requires vulnerability and introspection. It can be a liberating process, and it has the potential to inspire and connect with others. By following these tips and techniques, you can effectively share your personal story and create a meaningful impact through your writing.