Skip to Content

Banish Writer's Block

writers block help college essay

How to Tame Your Inner Critic

Blank pages are the enemy of not only most college and graduate applicants, but even of professional writers. Here are a few tips on how to tame your inner critic.

The Quick Write (also known as Speed Writing)
Tear off five pieces of paper and write a random word or phrase on each one. Fold it over and throw it into a pile. Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes, pick one piece of paper and write without stopping about the words on the paper. If you run out of something to say, just write the word again and start fresh. When the timer rings, read aloud (much more fun to do this with others), pick a new piece of paper and set your timer again. Save them in a file titled "Warm-Ups."

Change of Scene
Make it a habit to grab a small notebook that fits in a pocket or purse, get out of your house for 15-30 minutes and go hang out at a favorite place like a coffee shop, book store, park, or anywhere you choose. Jot down everything you observe, overhear, smell or that jogs a memory.

Free Associate
Take a break every day to write down random thoughts about anything that runs through your mind in a spiral notebook. Some ideas include:

  • Something you hate
  • Amistake you still regret
  • Last night’s dinner
  • Why you prefer morning or evening
  • What you are thinking about while waiting at a red light
  • A description of a person you know well
  • Your favorite item of clothing.

Write about anything, anywhere. It doesn’t matter.

Voice Recorder
“My fingers refuse to write down my thoughts.” Use the "Voice Recorder" tool on your cell phone, or borrow a tape recorder, and ramble about anything for 10-15 minutes. Examples include:

  • Your happiest or saddest memory;
  • Something that you love to do
  • Something you can’t throw out
  • An incident that changed your beliefs
  • A mistake you made that you’ll never forget.

Now type out every word on your recorder and save it. Later, you will find a couple of gems worthy of expansion.


What Students Say About Susan...

"Susan is a breath of fresh air in the college application process and gives you the tough love you need. She's direct, insightful, and knows exactly what to tell you to move your application to the next level - whether it's thinking through schools, assessing your application as a whole, or wordsmithing your personal statement. Most importantly she performs her job within a context of caring and fun so that working on your app becomes a fun challenge rather than a source of dread. She was critical for my results and the process couldn't have been better!" ~ Evan, Harvard Class of 2007

Ready, Aim, Fire!

college preparation search help

It's time to start your college search. But not so fast. Do a little research first. Check out informative college websites, take an online tour, read reliable college guide books and get feedback from friends who are already in college. Deciding where you will fit in and thrive for four years to come is a journey with many detours. So don't rush it. Give yourself plenty of time to get lost, change directions or stop and refuel.


Try It On First

college search help

How do you know where you want to go to college? What do you do to find out? The answer is found through personal experience. Visit a variety of local colleges and universities. You need to hang out at a sprawling state university, sit in on a seminar at a small liberal arts college, check out an 8'x10' dorm room, and eavesdrop on students in the dining hall. After doing this personal research, you'll be surprised at what fits, and what doesn't.


Highlight Your Passion

college application essay help

Colleges want a renaissance class made up of all types of students. What is your special talent? What sets you apart? Everyone has something they are passionate about, whether it’s quirky, off-the-beaten-path or more mainstream. Your individual passion is the thing that sets you apart from other college applicants and will ultimately round out a diverse class. Susan's specialty is to draw out your uniqueness and show you how to successfully communicate “who you are.”


about seo | page