Thursday, February 07, 2013

Writing Essays, Stories and More

Essay writing is a skill that can be honed like every other writing muscle. Whether you need an essay for school, a writing group or to use as a speech to honor someone. Essays written from the heart can inspire and move to action. They are found in magazines, newspapers and all over the Internet. Now that I'm taking classes in Journalism and Creative Writing I find myself writing lots of essays. Not my favorite but not something i struggle with at all. I think I've been writing essays all my life without knowing it. Here's what I learned along the way...

Is there a magic formula on how to write an essay? Yes and no. (Don't you love those kind of answers?)

Well, the answer depends for whom you're writing. College essays will be held to a higher level than an essay written for a newspaper. (I've heard newspapers are written on a 6th grade level. Is that true?) Essays to submit for publications in women's magazines will need to be directed at things held important by it's readership. Read and reread the magazine you're targeting so you get the rhythm of the writing.  Can't find the right venue for your essay, you might want to self publish a collection of essays on Amazon.

Segments of an Essay would include introduction, main point of the subject, and conclusion. 

Remember your audience. Are you writing a something for kids or will only adults be reading it? Are you targeting  certain age group? Does your audience have a work or hobby relationship that you're including in the article? I mention this because its easy to lose sight of your target audience and wander off your intended path. Including a personal story can help reach your audience as long as it doesn't distract from you main point.

One thing you must remember when writing your essay is to relax. Let the essay flow with a natural pace and write it all the way through. Once done go back and edit, edit, edit. Same as writing a book, short story or letter to mom, don't stress over the first draft. You'll have a chance to read through and correct later. Get all your information down on paper (or on the computer screen--save your work!) and then start rearranging your ideas. Editing can come later and will often make or break your essay.

And have fun! Essays are a creative way to express your views on subjects and you never know when you'll need a clip!
Do you know of any other venues for publishing essays? Do you write them on a regular basis? Advice?


Charles Gramlich said...

I really enjoy essay writing. It can be very freeing, and helps one form and understand how you, the writer, thinks about things.

Aimless Writer said...

Charles, Exactly!