After reading these essays I have gained a few ideas for topics that I can also explore. Some of these topics include personal loss and the healing the Gospel can bring after death, struggles with difficult roommates, finding peace in writing, and family experiences that teach about the importance of eternal families.
As I watched the intros and read some of the essays I learned a couple things I hope to apply to my own personal essay. First, with the video intros, I learned that the shorter videos tended to grab my attention more than the longer ones. To be able to summarize the main idea of an essay in a succinct way pulls in your audience more quickly than a long, drawn out introduction.
Next I learned from the essays that the incorporation of different scripture examples and stories needs to be done very carefully. Some of the essays incorporated stories extremely well, using them to add to their personal experiences. However, in some of the essays the scriptural allusions felt like after thoughts and too much of a stretch to connect to. I'm not saying don't add scriptural allusions, I'm just saying be mindful of how you're doing it and make sure it's done tastefully.
Finally I learned that stories communicate a message more effectively than simply explaining a principle. Stories ground what you're trying to share and make it easier for the audience to understand. They also help the audience connect to the author personally which adds understanding to a piece.
|Photo courtesy of pixabay.com (found through creative commons)|