Writing Personal Essays

Make a list of issues and experiences, important and trivial, in your life right now.

What frustrated you in the past month?

What made you laugh or cry?

What made you lose your temper?

What was the worst thing that happened?

The best?

The most disturbing and weird?

Write:  Choose one thing from your list and write about it.

Write whatever comes to mind.

Write what you would really like to say to the other people involved.

Write what happened from your point of view.

Prompt inspired from, “On Writing Personal Essays,” by Barbra Abercrombie, The Writer magazine, January 2003

Barbara Abercrombie teaches creative writing in the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension, and a master class in memoir and personal essays via Zoom and Canvas.

“We write the book we need to read and The Language of Loss is the book I needed when my husband died six years ago. It’s an anthology full of the very best poems and prose that I could find about losing the love of your life. These are the writers and poets who got me through my own grief. If you’re going through a loss right now, or know someone who is grieving, I hope this book will help.” —Barbara Abercrombie

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