A shocking statement works well as a personal experience hook ("I didn't think it would feel so good to pull the trigger and watch my target lurch and fall to the ground.") Look into your own life or the life of someone close to you for personal experiences and write about them. • How does the article relate to other issues? To do this, you must ask yourself how your experience relates to the reader. Writers, of course, don't simply learn from their mistakes; they write about them. It may be too late for you to avoid the difficulties you encountered, but it's never too late to help another. If you've learned from an experience, readers can learn from it as well. But you can beat those odds. She makes a bad choice of actions. If you've gone off on other tangents, rework the piece to eliminate them. The Daughter of Addiction . Is this an experience from which the reader can learn or benefit?

They are interested in new experiences, in things they might want to do -- if only you could show them how! Turning your story of "what I did" into an article on "how you can do it" is one of the best ways to save your material from the slush pile. Keep in mind that your experience should be one that a reader would like to share in the future, not one that he or she has already shared. Your article could tell us not only why you did it, but how -- including the advantages and disadvantages of such a decision. Make them work for you. Is this an experience the reader might wish to share or enjoy?

Follow this with a line or two, possibly even a paragraph, that describes the actual point of the article. Experience: I came out to my husband, then he came out to me I realised that Joe and I shared our own gay culture the whole time we were married – we both loved the film Beaches Published: 5:00 AM Self-improvement themes pervade magazines of every description: How to improve your health, well-being, inner self, relationships, careers, skills, homes, hobbies.

Don't waste your personal experiences. • How does this article make you feel?

Because of the grief she still suffers over the loss, she has become a pushover with her kids and lets them get away with more than they should. If you have a suggestion about this website or are experiencing a problem with it, or if you need to report abuse on the site, please let us know. Writing to Win: The Colossal Guide to Writing Contests.

The reason is that typical personal experience pieces are articles about the author. Let's take this one step at a time with an example from a recently-published article. A tight structure is imperative for this type of article. The hook to the piece is a direct quote, which makes the reader want to keep reading to find out how she solves her problem. She still sees her first marriage and family as the main relationship in her life, and her second husband as just that--secondary.

As long as you learned something from the experience -- even something as small as allowing you to see the incident in a new light -- others will be able to relate to it. And what better form to write about your life's happenings than in a personal experience article. Confused? How did it affect your spouse -- and how did your spouse's response help (or hinder) your own recovery? A definite theme emerges through the telling of the story. Writers will never run out of markets for articles on how to cope with grief, trauma, or loss, because people will never cease to experience these things. If something is going well in your life, however, keep in mind that thousands of potential readers wish they could say the same. Writing an essay about a personal experience or relationship can be a powerful way of both discovering the meaning of your own past and sharing that past with others. Throw in a sidebar on how to identify toxic plants, and you'll have an article that could find a market in family magazines, travel publications, even pet magazines. ", Favorite Quote:Be who you are and say what you feel because those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. Once you've chosen the incident you want to write about, your first step is to pick out the point or theme you want to prove with your piece, and everything in your article must build to prove this point.

Self-improvement articles don't necessarily have to be based on life-changing experiences.

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