College Application Essay Guidance, Writing

Jenny’s Story, Part 2

Last week we met my client Jenny. You can read the first part of her story here.

“Yes!” I said to Jenny. “You can write about funny!”

She’d already told me a few stories that had me in hysterics. How she kept a Teletubby costume in her locker that she trotted out regularly. How she convinced her little sister that “Ashton Kutcher” was a swear word. How she set up a quesadilla business in her pre-calc class.

A lot of students get stuck at this point,not knowing how to go from idea to words on the page. They stare at their blank screen. It stares back.

The key to getting started? Break down the task into manageable chunks.

“Start by writing a paragraph for each idea,”  I said to her. “Right now, don’t worry about grammar or how it’s all going to come together—just get your ideas down on the page.”

I say to students: pretend you’re a potter at the beginning of a project. First, you need to throw a lump of clay on the wheel.

She smiled.”I can write about Ashton Kutcher?”

I smiled back. She was ready to get started.clay

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