Archive for category Essay Writing Tips

Essay Writing Nuts and Bolts: A 6-Step Process

In my free guide, How to Write a College Application Essay That Gets You In, I outline a basic 6-step process to writing your college application essay that goes like this:

1)  Brainstorm and choose a topic

2)  Write the first draft and put aside for a few days (or at least a few hours)

3)  Revise; write the second draft

4)  Review and revise draft two; make edits. This is your final draft.

Or not. I encourage you to write as many drafts as you need to get to diamond-like clarity. Brilliance is encouraged.  ; ) 

5) Proofread and polish

6) Let it go

However, every writer is different, so you may not follow this process to the letter, and that’s OK. There is a metric ton of writing advice out there with its very own 4-step or 5-step or 10-step process, so you can surely find what works best for you if this isn’t it.                   

That said, at a very minimum you want to write a draft, set it aside, come back to it after a few days/hours,  then revise and improve upon it until you are satisfied, and last but not least, make sure to proofread, proofread, proofread!

And remember, there is no one else like you on Earth, which means there is no one else who can tell the story you can tell!   : )

(To grab your FREE guide on how to write a stellar college application essay, please visit my website at to download your copy today!)

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First Step for Writing a Killer College Application Essay: Mindset

That’s right, the first step is mindset.

Now, I know a lot of people might say, “What’s ‘mindset’ got to do with the essay writing process?  I just want to know how to write a great college application essay.”

But the truth is, if you don’t start the process with the right mindset, the writing part is going to be a lot more challenging and stressful than it needs to be.

So what is the “correct mindset?”  

It’s this: You want to know before you begin writing that you can do this well.  Believe that you do have lots of great insights and experiences from which to draw to create a stellar essay. Believe that you can write an essay that will help get you into the college of your choice. 

Because it’s undeniably true. 

If you give yourself enough time to brainstorm, choose a topic, write a first draft, write a second draft, then edit, proofread and polish, you’re there!

See, knowing this going in, and I mean utterly believing it in your core, will help reduce the stress you feel when you sit down to write.  You’ll be relaxed, and when you are in that state of relaxation, the brainstorming, topic selection, and writing are all going to flow much more easily.

On the other hand, if you’re freaked out by the process, you’re going to be scattered and nervous and unable to focus properly.  And this task is one that requires focus and concentration. 

The other part of correct mindset is, don’t go into the writing process thinking that your entire future rests on the completion of a college application essay.  It does not!  That mindset creates way too much stress.  And stress reduces focus.

Yes, this is a very important piece of writing, and a lot is riding on how well you do it, but if you’ve given yourself enough time for each stage of the essay writing process, then you will have no problem knocking it out of the ballpark.  You know you can do this.

And I know you can do this, because if you’re reading this blog post right now, that means you’re invested in writing a kick-a** essay, and you’ll do what it takes to get the job done.

(For more on proper mindset and other tips and techniques for writing a killer college application essay, visit my website at and download your FREE essay writing guide today!)