How to Write an Essay

June 15, 2022 § 7 Comments

By Amanda Smera

Inspired by Sonya Huber

  1. Enter the blank page with your anxieties crumbling up inside you. It’s the healthcare crisis, the meaning of a word that doesn’t sit well with you, the cat that fell from a four-story building and didn’t land on its feet.
  1. Write about the answers you seek, the ones you don’t already have. Walk into the unknown armed with your doubts. Let the words pour out of your fingertips in a magical inquiry, in desperate need to find the ones who are losing sleep over the same ifs.
  1. Write about where it hurts. Write until it hurts.
  1. Find it in the pain of a sprained ankle, of a mysterious pressure on the bladder, in the frozen leaves in winter, in the cry of an infant moments before latching on the breast, in the cry of a kettle that has reached boiling point, in the break of your own heart.
  1. Promise the process will be messy and confusing. Promise it will lead to nothing. But might lead to everything.
  1. Be enraged with your premise, make love to your discoveries, punch the certainties right in the face.
  1. Get lost in the tangents, throw a metaphor in there for flavor, quote the birds chirping by the window, use the spin of the Earth to guide your every word.
  1. Swallow everything you can find, let it drool down your chin, pick it up with your finger and lick it clean.
  1. Scream “Eureka!” from the top of your lungs, jump out of the bathtub, run down the streets naked and euphoric.
  1. Be smug, know-it-all, be barely there and hesitant.
  1. Be the hero and the savior, be the villain, the secondary character no one remembers the name of.
  1. Be the moving force that defies the rules and laws of physics.
  1. Be the first to notice, be the last to realize.
  1. Be the one who dared to write.


Amanda Smera is an essayist and journalist from Brazil who is currently obtaining a master’s degree in writing at Rowan University.

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