A WRITING PROMPT FROM T. FLEISCHMANN

Each Friday we post one new writing prompt created by a Sarabande author. Prompts like this one are included in our online Reader's Guides along with discussion questions and suggested reading to accompany each title. So if you can't wait a week for the next prompt, visit our Reader's Guide page to find them all in one place!

This week's prompt comes from T. Fleischmann, author of Syzygy, Beauty.

WORST SELF

I believe that one of the most difficult challenges in writing an essay is the challenge of presenting myself—of deciding when to reveal my best self, my worst self, of finding something like honesty or authenticity in the way I construct my voice on the page. (I think this is true regardless of whether the essay is memoir or not.)

So, start a new essay and write it as your worst self. Indulge your flaws. Be a jerk, be unlikable, be petty, and self-righteous and think you’re great the whole time. Root out the qualities of yourself that you most often hide and parade them around the page, seeing if maybe they have something to offer after all.