I had a rather interesting revelation the other day. I was listening to one of the DIY MFA Radio Podcasts, Episode 198 to be exact. Gabriela and the guest, Will, were talking about personal essay book, and how there doesn’t seem to be as large a market for personal essays on the Internet because everyone is more focused on throwing their opinions out there.
I’m listening to this and thinking about how I am no good at writing posts for my blog that state an opinion. In fact I just recently wrote an article about how I decided to avoid doing just that.
As I was listening to how they define a personal essay, I came to the realization that what I prefer to write are, in fact, personal essays. I look back at the articles I’ve written that are my favorites and they are basically me saying ‘here’s my experience, get what you can out of it.’
I have no desire to push my opinions on other people, and I am well aware that even the life changing experiences I’ve had for myself won’t necessarily mean anything to anyone else. My opinions are formed by my experiences, the same way yours will be. No one can tell you what those are unless you choose to let them.
If I want anything for you, it’s just for you to be more aware of yourself so you can figure out what is important to you and how that looks. And the way I do that is to be as authentic about my own experiences as possible, and let you glean whatever it is you want to out of what I’ve written, even if that’s nothing at all.
That’s just what feels right to me. I’m not sure I’ll change anything in the wake of finding out what I’m writing are personal essays. Maybe I will. My biggest takeaway from this is the label so I can speak and learn about it more intelligently.