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How to Combat Writer’s Block and Finish Your College Essay

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So you’re two hours deep into your college essay and you just can’t seem to get anything good down on paper! We know what that feels like, we’ve all been there! Here are 4 tips on how to overcome the beast that is writer’s block.


Flip your topic on its head

Maybe the way you’ve been thinking about writing your essay has limited your options! Think about the different ways you could tell your story. Could you start with the middle or end? Have you included any meaningful dialogue? Is there a small part of the story that you could highlight? Try writing your story from someone else’s point of view or reworking your outline.

Get Everything Down

You can only fight for so long. If you know what you want to say but can’t seem to say it well, write it down anyway. It will be easier for future you with creative thoughts of gold to clean up the mess if there’s something already there. Do you know how hard it is to build a home without a foundation? Be okay with writing something that doesn’t live up to your expectations. You can fix it later.

Walk away

We know that the last thing you want to do is leave your laptop without having anything to show for the time you spent in front of it — but a change of scenery and short break can do wonders for letting your brain reload with awesome ideas! Take fifteen minutes to get a glass of water, eat a slice of pizza, or solve a Rubik’s cube. Purposefully distract yourself, so when it’s time to revisit your Word Doc – you’re out of the rut. 

Remind yourself of the essay’s purpose

When you’re deep in the college application process, it can be easy to think of the personal and supplemental essays as horcruxes you need to destroy, but instead remember why Admissions is making you do this. There are so many similarly qualified applicants that they are comparing you against and without a window into your soul, they’re left to play eenie meenie miney mo. Writing a great essay is making their job easier.  Maybe visit your dream school’s website for some motivation or to remind yourself why you’re sitting here trying to crank this out – you’re trying to invite Admissions into your life and mind in 650 words to distinguish yourself from the competition. What is awesome about you?

With your new perspective, you might just be able to wiggle your way out of the writer’s war zone and into college essay success.

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