Friday, July 30, 2010

Writing Personal Experience Articles (Part 1 of 6)

Three types of articles seem the easiest to sell, especially for beginners. They are personal experience (PE), devotions, and how-to articles. In my biased opinion, writers need to master all three before they start with books. I’ll discuss devotions and how-to articles in future blog entries.

PE articles are true stories about something that happened to us (or occasionally to someone else).

Why write PE? I suggest four reasons.

1. It’s a natural place to begin. An experience is something you know and feel and it means you've grown because of working through the problem. (And yes, there must always be a problem.)

2. You use your life experience as the raw data.

3. The story doesn’t involve research (unless you need to check facts).

4. If you’re in touch with yourself, you can write PE because you have felt the moment and you aren’t the same person you were before the event. In some way you have changed. The opportunity to change is what you offer readers.

Why not start with the easy-to-sell article? Personal experience articles usually require no research.

4 comments:

  1. Dear Cec:

    I love these kind of articles, because I can pour my soul into them, and have had some success selling them. But I read differing opinions on their saleability. Some experts say no one wants to read them, unless you are Max Lucado or Joyce Meyer. Others say they sell well. What do you think?

    Thanks, Jen

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  2. Jeanette, I think PE articles will sell when they are written with a voice from the heart. If the words are written with dollar signs in focus, there will be no life in them - hope will be a distant concept. But, if the personal experience is relived and communicated with the PURPOSE of giving God the glory through learned experiences with all their raw emotions, questions and transparencies then I believe there is a market.

    Thank you for taking time to teach us, Cec. We appreciate it.

    Sweet blessings,
    Nan

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  3. Hi, Cec!

    Thanks for your terrific blog. I am just coming on board as a reader after having followed Vonda's blog.

    I am fairly new to the blog world and I am still learning to write well... I started Mourning into Dancing roughly a year and a half ago. I am so thankful that there are teachers out there like you, Vonda and Jean Matthew Hall, who invest your time in us! :)

    God bless you!

    Bitsy Rawlings

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  4. Thank you, Nan, that's wonderful wisdom!

    Jen

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What are your thoughts?