|Writer Abroad's fear of being too personal soon turned to joy|
Writer Abroad has always loved writing personal essays. But she’s also always struggled with how personal to make them. In fact, it took her six years, nine months, and 14 days (approximately) to find the right amount of reveal.
So here’s a quick answer for those of you wondering how personal you should be: More than you want to be.
More specifically, here’s how you know if you’ve made your essay personal enough or not:
- Your piece says something the mainstream doesn’t usually say.
- When your essay is accepted for publication, you’re joyful—but also scared.
- The day of publication you are extra edgy.
- The day of publication your husband tells you that you are hormonal.
- When you first see it published, you think you shouldn’t have submitted it.
Congratulations. Your piece will be a success because you have PES (Personal Essay Syndrome).
Writer Abroad speaks from experience. On Monday, her Learning to Love Motherhood essay, which Writer Abroad considers her most “naked” piece ever, was published in Brain, Child Magazine. And because her essay was about her struggle to accept motherhood in a world where people are supposed to fall instantly in love with their infants, she was nervous about how people would react to it.
Anyway, after the publication of the piece on Monday, a funny thing happened: all the people that Writer Abroad was scared to reveal herself to (including her boss—somehow he even read the piece…) didn’t judge her on any part of it—the only thing they had for her now? A new respect for her honesty and bravery. Now that was something to love about being personal (along with her essay’s 89 likes on Brain, Child’s Facebook page…but who’s counting?).