How to write essays

How to write essays, you ask. Here’s how.

Write your essay about what happened – and then write about how you feel about what happened. Find the pattern, the significance in your experience. Write about how these experiences tell stories about human beings in general.

Write an essay that inspires readers to react. Make readers want to write back to you. So write an essay when you feel

  • Afraid.
  • Angry.
  • Cranky.
  • Frightened.
  • Infuriated.
  • Scared.
  • Thrilled.

Don’t write an academic essay, the kind you learned in school. Don’t write an introduction, a statement of a thesis, support for that thesis and a conclusion. If your readers stay with you, they’ll soon be snoring.

Anaïs Nin, the Spanish-born, French-writing diarist whose essays spanned 60 years, wrote: “We write to heighten our own awareness of life…. We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection…. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it… to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth… to expand our world, when we feel strangled, constricted, lonely…. When I don’t write I feel my world shrinking. I feel I lose my fire, my color.”

That, my friend, is how to write an essay.

If you want writing classes, in Philadelphia or elsewhere, please holler.