Your college essay might be a mess before it’s amazing. I have many students freaking out when their essay is in the messy inchoate stage. Trust the writing process to move from a-mess-ing to amazing!
You know what happens when the sun begins to rise? That’s just the idea of the day beginning. It hasn’t figured itself out yet. It’s a hot mess!
The whole sky goes crazy, and it tries out all these different colors. They are not the same colors, or in the same order, as yesterday’s sunrise. You know why? Me neither. The sun is just going through a process. The atoms have moved around and swapped outfits. They blaze and reorganize. Take notes for your college essay!
Beautiful Oops = Mistake Composting
I read my kids a book called Beautiful Oops (if I’m really honest we lost our copy, but stick with me). I recommend everyone get their hands on it and absorb it. This is a how-to book designed to help the perfectionists among us calm the F down. It’s also for those who can’t handle their mistakes and meanderings as a natural part of the process.
This book says– no such thing as a mistake! Take that coffee spill, that misshapen tree, that sentence that is tomato sauce dribbled on your prom outfit, and turn it into something else. It was getting you to your art all along.
In fact, that might be your stroke of genius.
It’s messy before it’s sweet
I have a lot of students who come to me very early in the college essay process. They are stressed the F out, because they are not sure what they are writing about, and the essay isn’t coming out looking finished, in 650 words. That advice thread on Reddit didn’t make their essay get born whole. Prince Ea’s magic words didn’t conjure it. The messy process of creation is a bit uncomfortable.
Is the sun making a big deal about its sprawl? Should my kids never scribble scrabble in the process of drawing a dragon (it breathes fire, yo!)? Is it OK that I have to step to the left and right and through some weeds and maybe even encounter a ravenous bear before I know what path I’m on?
Respect the Process
Respect the writing process. Even those of you that love the map and the plan! Experiment with plan B (so many reasons Plan B is amazing).
You can (and should!) write multiple versions of the same “topic.” Seriously! Try different sunrises. Start in a new place. Emphasize a different point. Take a greater risk. Add in what crosses your mind when you first wake up, before the sun stabs you in the eye. It will get longer, and possibly more lost, before it’s just right.
You know who can see your experiments? No one you don’t show them to.
We can help you relax into it
Stressing out about this? Contact us. At Essay Intensive, we 1000% trust the process (+ plan B + sunrises). We’ll talk you off your anxiety ledge and help you feel your capability.
When you jump, the net will be there, woven out of your faith that you have an important story to tell.
The sunrise was not plotted on graph paper–nor is your life! You can turn your mess into an amazing essay. I’ve seen every “kind” of student and writer do this with commitment to the process.
Don’t wait for another sunrise before you reach out to Essay Intensive for support.