Three Ways to Break Through Writer’s Block

If you stumbled across the article while procrastinating on your business school admissions essays, you’re in luck. Hopefully this article will be the best thing that could have happened to your essays. Today we present three ways to break through writer’s block and get your MBA admissions essays back on track.

When we say “writer’s block,” we mean any situation where you know what’s on paper (or on your computer screen) is far from being a finished product that you’ll be happy to submit as part of your finished application. Maybe you just can’t think about what to start writing about (this is what most people think of when they hear “writer’s block”), but an even tougher case can be when you’re staring at a nearly-finished essay and you just know that it’s not working. In either case, try these three things to clear your mind and start fresh

Talk to an Old Friend or Relative
Why would connecting with an old friend or relative help with your writer’s block? Doing so can help stimulate memories and ideas that may be buried deep in your brain. A conversation with an old friend may remind you of why you got so excited about your current career in the first place, giving new oomph to a “Career Progression”-oriented essay. The real thing — whether it’s talking to an old friend or looking through old pictures — is far more effective at jogging your memory and unleashing old (but good) ideas than is sitting at a computer.

Write Something You Know You’ll Never Submit
There’s something to be said for doing a “dry run” that you know will have no real consequences. Stumped on your Stanford GSB “What matters most and why” essay? Write an absurd piece that you know would immediately get you dinged if you ever submitted it. Or, write it as a character from a movie would — Gordon Gekko is always a good one to fall back on — and let your creative juices flow. Just be sure that you remember NOT to submit this version when you send in your application!

Get Some Rest!
At the end of the day, no mind is better able to create than a well rested one. One night of at least eight hours of sleep and another night of dedicated writing is always more effective than two nights of tired writing and less sleep than your body really needs. Science backs this up, too: While you’re asleep, your brain processes the day’s memories and makes new connections between neurons to store those in your long-term memory. This “flushing out” of your short-term memory helps your brain take in, process, and synthesize new information. Tell that to your professor when you get caught napping in class!

Got other ideas? Share them in the comments section below! For more MBA admissions advice, be sure to subscribe to this blog and to follow us on Twitter!


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