Use the three-step writing method for personal experience stories as well as anything else you write. First, turn on the analytical side of your brain and write your theme in one or two words. Then develop a focus sentence that sums up the main point you want to make in the article. Do not deviate from your theme. Write some sort of an outline. Then set what you have written aside for a day or so. When you go back, forget all you’ve been taught in the way of grammar, word usage, and punctuation. Turn on the right side, the creative side of your brain, and try to write your first rough draft in one sitting. Then set that aside to let it cool. Then go back and polish, whittle, and rewrite, using both sides of the brain.
In a personal experience article, the storyline becomes the vehicle to relate the message you want to convey to the readers. It may be a moral lesson, an ethical issue, or a religious truth. You want to provide insight and instruction for your readers. They must learn to own their own belief system and values to live by. In order for your readers to become involved in your story, the humanness of your main character needs to come through clearly. Then your readers can identify with your character. If you are writing your own story, then you are the main character.
Consequently, you must become vulnerable with your readers and be willing to make yourself transparent. Be careful not to air your dirty laundry, though. Try to chat with your readers as if they were friends, sitting at your kitchen table sharing a cup of tea. Try to be open and honest, so readers can benefit from your experience.