The writing process; sometimes it works and sometimes…

I wrote an essay on Sunday about a high school graduation I had attended that weekend.

You see, I’m a community newspaper editor and I was there to cover the event and write a news story for my paper. But the event was so stirring that I was moved to also write an essay about it for the paper’s opinion page. The only trouble is when I wrote the first version it was a mess. I zigzagged, took u-turns and tried to make too many points. Not realizing how bad it was, I read it (with pride) to a friend. When I finished and looked at his face I wondered why he looked so pained.

Fortunately, I had left myself enough time before deadline to write another draft. The second version was much better, with a clearer focus, and I was able to publish it without embarrassing myself.

The first draft  of your college essay is a practice run. Leave yourself enough time to revise it as many times as needed. Read it to your friends and family members. Listen to their reactions. Take all the feedback into account, but stay true to your own central theme. Don’t make the mistake of embellishing your story.

The truth is always more interesting.

Have faith as you write that the final version will turn out okay.

If you get started this summer you’ll be doing yourself the biggest favor of your young life. When senior year begins, life will get busier than it  has ever been before. Don’t worry, you’ll get through it. Still, if you can complete this requirement before then, you’ll make it easier on yourself.

If you need help getting started, just email or click. I’m here to help. As a matter of fact, I’ve scheduled a workshop on “Brainstorming the college essay” for June 29, 2 to 5 p.m. in Westford, Mass. or via Skype. There are just 3 seats left for a total of only six students. There will be lots of one-on-one attention and you will leave with a solid essay topic and the beginning of a draft.

Go ahead and click!

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