Personal Essay Quotes

Quotes tagged as "personal-essay" Showing 1-25 of 25
Barry  López
“It is, I think, the rarest of leisure, hard work mixed with hard pleasure, to refine one's time of deep thought or light regard into the utterly self-absorbed and equally and abundantly outward-seeking shape of the personal essay -- a story comprised of found fact, of analyzed emotion, of fictive memory.”
Barry Lopez, About This Life

“Writing is mental exercise and the preeminent method to train the mind to achieve a desirable state of mental quietude. Meditative writing, a single pointed concentration of mental activity, induces an altered state of consciousness. Writing is studious rumination, a means to converse with our personal muse. Writing entails a period of forced solitude that enables us to meet and conduct a searching conversation with our authentic self. This contemplative dialogue with our true self is transformational. Writing is not a mere act but a journey of the mind into heretofore-unknown frontiers of the self.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“All writers are demonic dreamers. Writing is an act of sharing experiences and offering of an individualistic perspective of our private attitudes pertaining to whatever topics of thought intrigues the author. Writing is a twitchy art, which attempts to employ linguist building blocks handed-down from past generations. Writers’ word choices form a structure of conjoined sentences when overlaid with the lingua of modern culture. Writers attempt to emulate in concrete form the synesthesia of our personal pottage steeped in our most vivid feelings. Writing a personal essay calls for us to sort out a jungle of lucid observations and express in a tangible technique our unique interpretation of coherent observations interlaced with that effusive cascade of yearning, the universal spice of unfilled desire, which turmoil of existential angst swamps us.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Storytelling is ultimately the only way that we know besides song, dance, painting, and music to share with our tribesmen what it means to be human, express the indefinable feelings that unite humankind.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Personal essay writing is analogous to undertaking a vision quest, a potential turning point in life taken to discover intimate personal truths, form complex abstract thoughts, and ascertain the intended spiritual direction of a person’s life.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Personal essay writing, dialectic discourse with the self, is a process of taking ideas and crushing them like grapes to create a homemade wine.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Writing about oneself is an egotistical adventure unless the act of self-exploration revolves around the distinct goal of heightening a person’s cache of knowledge, ideas, and level of self-awareness.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Writing is an exhausting and demoralizing task that destroys human conceits. Writing an elongated series of personal essay opens a person’s mind to explore paradoxes and discover previously unrealized personal truths. Writing is as arduous as any trek into the wilderness. Every sentence takes a writer deeper into the jungle of the mind, a world of frightening inconsistencies created by our waking life’s desire that the world of chaos conform to our convenience.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Necessary features of the human mind impose structure upon our experiences. Language acts as a gatekeeper for the mind. We learn and embark on personal transformation by formulating, revising, and refining our conception of the world each time that we encounter new facts, experiences, ideas, and viewpoints. To understand the world a person must employ reason and organize their episodic personal experiences into a system of narrative thought. The language that we employ to internalize our personal experiences constructs our mental system, and our mental thoughts in turn regulate us. We become of a personification of our language, as expressed in narrative stories of the self.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“The communication function of modern writers is akin to the ancient role fulfilled by tribal shamans. All writers ultimately perform a shamanistic role in society; their mythmaking voices speak to us from the underworld after their passage to the other side. Writers place themselves in a trance-like state where their unconscious mind dictates to them what to write.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Writing and other efforts to produce an enduring piece of artwork is a gallant response to the prospect of death. Every person knows that they must die, and consequently people build elaborate symbolic defenses mechanism to shield themselves from knowledge of their impermanence. Every person possesses autonomy of the will, the ability to choose how to conduct their life. The freedom to act towards objects is ultimately useless; it provides a person with no sense of meaning and supplies no purpose to life because a mere collection of objects will not transcend their physical demise. An artist does not deny their impermanence but embraces the prospect of their death by laboring to create a monument of their existence that will survive their expiry.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“The analytical framework of this comprehensive field study of what it means to be an American examines how a person’s personality, culture, technology, occupational and recreational activities affect a person’s sense of purposefulness and happiness. The text evaluates the nature of human existence, formation of human social relations, and methods of communication from various philosophic and cultural perspectives. The ultimate goal is to employ the author’s own mind and personal experiences as a filter to quantify what it means to live and die as a thinking and reflective person.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Writing a personal essay or memoir addresses how a person thinks and behaves in the context of society’s prevailing moral and ethical codes, informal rules, laws, and customs. A self-ethnographer emphasis what he or she considers important regarding how people perceive and categorize the world, their meaning for behavior, how they imagine and explain things, and ascertaining what has meaning for them. Expository writing, a discursive examination of a broad field of subjects, is one method of cohering the dimensions of a person’s emic and etic thoughts and a linked series of memorable events into a unified personal ideology how to live a purposeful life. In cultural anthropology, the emic approach focuses on what people of a local culture think and how they interpret events whereas the etic approach takes a more objective view of how an outsider evaluates the behavior and customs of a culture. Usage of both emic and etic analysis provides the richest description of a cultural or a society in which the personal essayist operates within.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Attempting to express a person’s objective reality and subjective state of mind with the written word is an endless task because writing alters our perception of reality and amends our mental equilibrium.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Autobiographical writing stands as lasting memorial for enduring the travails of an earthly life. Writing is an apt technique to score our storyline into the annuals of time. To endure a mortal life is merely a transitory experience whereas writing about how one lived is an internalized exposition of what it means to be human. Writing is an external exhibition injecting the author into the world’s consciousness.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“The story of what it means to be human is never complete. Every generation will produce its own share of comedies and tragedies, fools and geniuses. What the Greeks started the rest of the world will continue to build upon. The old stories will continue to explicate where we came from, while the new stories will illuminate in what direction humankind trends. The collection of future stories of humanity will add to the cumulative library of stories that past writers told, an anthology of collaborative stories will shed light upon the singleness of the human spirit in its aspirations, powers, vicissitudes, and wisdom.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“We write, edit, and rewrite the story of our own life employing descriptive words, metaphors, and symbols. Our lives are full of symbols including those supplied by nature and religion, which touch upon the mystical and spiritual aspects of life. Symbols inspire enduring hope by formulating idealist expectations.”
Kilroy J. Oldster

“Personal essay writing that incites the mind and instigates personal growth involves examination and re-examination, a process of noticing and reflecting upon what a person perceives. Essayistic writing is an osmotic process wherein a person intuitively absorbs information and ideas, allows inchoate thoughts to gestate in the unconscious mind, and then consciously places the emergent strands of language and logic into an orderly and expressive format.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Each of us, along with our ancestors, inhabits the same cosmos. When we tell stories, we enter the stream of human consciousness; we take with us into the Ring of Time the people whom we crossed paths with in our earthly sojourn.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“The womb of the world births us. My filth comes from the same earthwork that gives rise to all stories. My interior light connects me with all the other creatures that inhabit this world of rocks, air, grass, woods, and water. My genetic code links me inextricably with all of nature. I enter the medley in the river of life with the ability to respond as life unfolds before my childlike eyes. My homemade medicinal poultice might not be of any benefit to other people. Nonetheless, we should each write our stories because each of us aims to attain a greater degree of awareness of our own authenticity. We owe a moral obligation to our family, friends, and ourselves as well as to the community to make a determined effort to wring the most out of life. We must applaud all efforts to investigate the human condition. Even if my writing amounts to nothing more than a clumsy attempt to travel the same tracks other people burnished with much more insight, clarity, precision, and style, it is an act of self-definition to ascribe to any philosophy. Philosophy represents a living charter; it is a life of action.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Writing places a person in the community of those imaginative spirits whom preceded their birth. Writing also connects a person with the intrepid spirits whom share the present as well as with those souls whom are not yet born.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“The principal theme of any autobiography revolves around the brushwork of self-transformation, the freeing of the self from the strictures of self-imposed limitations, fears, and doubts. Autobiographical writing represents a heroic journey towards self-discovery; it enables us to get to know ourselves, and initiate a new phase where we begin thinking of the needs of other people.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Akin to any other human being’s creations composed from inspirational toil, the textual rendering of a person depicted in personal essay writing asserts an existence independent of the author. A personal writing voice speaks to me from a secluded mental closet. Writing makes private mental musings a public act.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Life is untidy. My writing is messy. Life yo-yos up and down. My writing undulates. I do not fly straight. Akin to a broken arrow, I yaw in the wind. I write the way that I lived, without submission to silly rules and without undue modesty.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

“Writing my fleshy story consisted of examining the butchered offal of my carnivorous character. Flayed like the catch of the day, I scrutinized the ramified offscourings of my worm-ridden soul, a parasitic host to tumors of self-doubt and lesions of personal insecurities.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls