Saturday, October 29, 2011

Personal Statements are Awesome

Write a one (1) page biography detailing your background, unique voice, experience as a trained writer, and specific interest in [writing fellowship], and why you feel you are qualified.

Photo / Creative Commons / LarimdaME
I hate writing personal statements. Carefully crafting an essay on my career aspirations always feels false and contrived. How am I supposed to respond to the prompt above?
"My background is awesome, which makes my unique voice awesome. I have awesome training as a writer, I think your fellowship program is awesome, and I’m qualified because, you guessed it, I’m awesome."
Sounds ridiculous, but that’s basically what they’re asking for, right? A page of me tooting my own horn and sucking up to them. I can’t possibly speak the truth –
"I started writing late in life, so I’m still forming my unique voice. I don’t have that much experience, which is why I want to participate in this fellowship. Oh, and I’m qualified because I’m awesome."
That’s not going to rise to the top of the pile.

But I have to write something. Personal statements are a way to stand out from the crowd and distinguish the passionate from the plain. It’s my chance to show my personality and reach for what I want.

Perhaps I need to turn off my humility for a while and see what comes out. I can always reduce the diva factor later.

Sigh...time to feel awesome...


  1. hey ms. awesome - you don't even need luck because you're AMAZING.

  2. Thanks Lynn! You're awesome AND amazing! :)

  3. Hey Teresa.... from what I've seen, you are intelligent, experienced, trained, and honest. Yet here you give the impression of low self-esteem and a frustrated negativity which isn't you. It seems you are setting yourself up for failure when you say you "hate", "false", "sucking up", "but I have to write something", and such negative words. Yes, this is a challenge, but you have a career as an actor and writer, and personal statements are a big part of the territory.
    I've responded because I like you, but maybe you are playing with us in this blog. Are you?

  4. @Paul - Thanks for the vote of confidence! Just expressing some natural revulsion at the self-importance of the act of writing personal statements. After I got this blog post out, I actually wrote a pretty glowing one - perhaps my best yet! We'll see if it works... :)