Inspired Writer
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Inspired Writer

How to Crack Surface-Level Writing and Help Your Readers

Writing is healing, but it’s worth widening the lens

By simona on Adobe Stock Images

“I feel like I have things to write…things that would help people. I just can’t seem to express it the way I want to.”

You don’t have to be a professional writer to write stories that help people.

There’s a craft to learn, but writing is far more natural than you might realize, especially writing your own true stories.

Writing personal essays can be incredibly healing

Writing helps us understand ourselves and grow. You don’t need to read 15 self-help books to get the kind of personal growth writing gives you!

But we often write in pretty shallow ways. We stay nice and safe on the surface.

Not a lot of healing, or helping, happens when we stay there.

Writing doesn’t have to be hard — but it can be hard to get below the surface level. It can be hard to find a way to write that connects with your readers.

Most of it is about find the heart of what you want to say. Then learning how to say it in a clear, relatable way.

Cracking the surface layer

I’m not a beginner writer by any means, but a few years ago I found myself in a rut.

It felt like I was siting on the surface and had no idea how to break through. So, I spent three years searching for something to help me write deeper, more meaningful stories.

I rang around universities and looked online for courses. But they were all either:

  • full-time degrees,
  • thousands of dollars,
  • or for beginners.

What I needed didn’t exists as far as I could see.
So I made my own program for myself.

✔I studied great essayists,
✔Spent time in (expensive) writing groups working on my craft,
✔Read and read and read dozens of writing craft books,
✔Watched live masterclasses and pre-recorded classes,
✔and took hundreds of notes.

Since then, my essays have won contests, been published in Insider and featured on podcasts and in literary newsletters alongside work from Granta and LitHub. I’ve made hundreds of dollars selling my essays.

Which is all very nice. I want you to have achieve all of those things too with your writing if that’s your goal.

But for me — and I hope this is true for you, too — the biggest value has been the comments from my readers telling me how my stories impacted them.

Those comments bring a huge amount of meaning to my work. It’s the reason I write.

What I’ve Got For You

It was frustrating trying to find a way to crack the surface and write deeper essays without forking out thousands of dollars.

I want to make it easier for other people like me. Because most of us are busy and can’t invest time and money into an MFA!

I’ve condensed all the best bits of what I’ve learned over the past 3 years, as well as in the 14+ years I’ve been writing professionally, into a 6-week course.

I had already made an introductory personal essay course, but I designed my latest writing course, to be exactly what I needed a few years ago but couldn’t find.

I’ve just run the Beta with a group of writers and I’m so excited by the results they’re seeing. Their essays are moving and impactful.
They’re essays they can be proud of.

And that makes it all feel really worth the effort.

If you can’t find what you need to push your writing to the next level, come check it out. I’d love to spend time learning with you!



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Kelly Eden

Kelly Eden


New Zealand-based essayist | Personal Essay Workshops | @ Insider, Mamamia, Thought Catalog, ScaryMommy and more