5 Techniques for Writing About Yourself
No matter who you are, there will inevitably be moments in your life where you are asked to write about yourself. Whether this is in a job application, a college essay, or a personal project that is irrelevant—what’s important is that you know some techniques for writing a compelling recount of your journey.
As with anything, having good techniques for writing about yourself is crucial. Too often, personal writing feels awkward and forced. You find yourself thinking things like “who in the world could possibly be interested in this?” and “I would be bored to tears if I read this.”
Luckily, getting better at writing about yourself is a simple, two-step process. You:
That’s it! It’s all just a matter of knowledge and practice before you’re out there recounting your stories like a pro!
So, in that spirit, let’s get you started on task #1: learning the techniques.
Read on for 5 of the best techniques you can use to write about yourself!
Technique #1: Journal Frequently
Utilizing journal writing to improve your skill works in two ways. First, it allows you to practice writing about yourself in a controlled environment where you can go back later and re-read your work. This allows you to reflect and analyze what you can do differently to give the piece some “oomph.”
Second, frequent journaling helps preserve those memories you’ll need to write about later. Think about it: how are you supposed to focus on writing well-thought-out sentences if you can hardly remember the scenario you’re trying to write about? You can’t!
What’s even better is that there are tons of ways for you to journal. You can use the traditional method of pen and paper, fill a Google doc with bullet points of your thoughts, or even use the voice recorder on your phone. Whatever helps you get those musings out!
If you find yourself stuck and don’t know what to write about, you can also visit our journal prompts blog post to help get you started.
Technique #2: Just Write
Although you’re trying to get better at writing about yourself, any type of writing will help you hone your skill. As you improve, this experience will bleed through no matter what you’re writing about. Soon, you’ll begin to see significant improvement in your journaling even though you may not consciously be thinking about it.
Technique #3: Personal Details = Better Writing
Good writing has a way of making the reader identify with the characters. Even in personal writings, having these details will make your reader feel closer to you.
Think about it: anyone can write a sentence that says “I was a shy kid,” and have it be true. What really resonates with people, however, is when you show them you were a shy kid. Instead of stating it directly, you might say something like this:
I sat, stone-faced, staring at the front of the classroom as the teacher’s eyes wandered over us. “Not me,” I pleaded silently, eyes gazing at anything except for the woman who held my fate in her hands. “Anyone but me.”
The woman hummed quietly as my stomach tied itself into knots. My left foot tapped a drum solo away on the tile, and cold beads of sweat rolled down my neck. Even if I were asked to read aloud at this point, my mouth was so dry I wasn’t sure if it was words that would come out or sand.
See? Isn’t that better than simply saying you were a shy kid? Of course, you don’t always have to go into excruciating detail to prove a point, but having one or two paragraphs like the above in your personal writing goes a long way to create a bond between yourself and your reader.
Technique #4: Don’t Be Afraid to Be Vulnerable
As people, we are often afraid of revealing those vulnerable parts of ourselves. However, doing that is exactly what you need to take your writing to the next level.
We’re not saying you have to spill your deepest, darkest secrets to come away with a good piece of writing. Rather, being vulnerable helps connect you with whoever is reading your piece even though you may have never even met. This is especially useful when writing something that is intended for future generations, such as your personal LIFEazine.
Technique #5: Don’t Hesitate to Get Help
Writing is a difficult task, and writer’s block happens to the best of us. When it does, it’s important that you not be afraid to go looking for help.
Help can mean a lot of different things. Maybe you go and ask someone for advice on what you can do to make your writing better. Or, perhaps you decide to use a series of personal prompts to help move you along.
No matter what you choose, getting help is an excellent way to further your story.
Writing about yourself can be tough, but it doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable and awkward. By using these tips, you can practice those personal writing skills before you start on your narrative and make the entire process a whole lot smoother.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and get started!
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