Mining Your Life for Personal Essay Topics

If you dream of becoming a freelance writer, the key to success lies not only in good writing but in having a wealth of ideas. Today, take some time to mine your life for experiences that could be turned into personal essays.

Many magazines have columns devoted to personal essays, thus this offers a superb chance for you to possibly get your work published. These pieces tend to be creative and allow you to develop your voice while expressing your point of view.

I love writing personal essays because I can mine my own life, thoughts and experiences, writing off the top of my head in a manner that can possibly change someone else for the better. That’s usually my goal: to show the reader how something that happened to me created positive change within me and how they can use my experience to better themselves.

If you would like to use your writing to act as a change agent, here’ show to begin: Come up with a list of events or experiences that moved, changed or impacted you deeply in some way. Then consider if your experience might be pertinent to other people. Will readers relate to what you went through? Can you write about this topic in a way that will move, change or impact them? Will your experiences, thoughts, words, or actions inspire them?

If so, you’ve got the makings of a great personal essay—start writing it!

Profile photo of Nina Amir About Nina Amir

Nina Amir, the Inspiration to Creation Coach, inspires writers and bloggers to create published products and careers as authors. Additionally, she helps her clients and readers achieve their potential, fulfill their purpose and make a positive and meaningful difference with their words. She is the author of How to Blog a Book, The Author Training Manual, and Creative Visualization for Writers, all published by Writer’s Digest Books. As a hybrid author, she also has published 17 books independently. She is a nonfiction book editor and doctor, proposal consultant, and an Author Coach and Trainer as well as a Book and Blog Coach. Some of her clients have sold 320,000+ copies of their books and been published by major publishing houses. Nina also is an award winning blogger and journalist, international speaker and founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, also known as the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge, and the Nonfiction Writers’ University. Also a Certified High Performance Coach, Nina strives to help creative people Achieve More Inspired Results personally and professionally.


  1. […] written several posts in the past on the  topic  of how to write an essay, such as this one, this one, and this one, […]

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