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  • Writer's pictureSusan Treadwell

Love Writing Personal Statements?

February is the month for hearts.

I heart chocolate.

I heart friends.

I heart writing personal statements!

Say what?

It’s crazy-hard to write a compelling personal statement when you actually dread the process. That’s what usually happens when college season kicks into high gear, and you’re up against the clock.

If you're a high school junior – imagine unearthing the stories that illuminate who you are without the pressure of application deadlines haunting every thought.

See what happens when you make a conscious decision to enjoy the process of self-reflection. If you’re not used to writing personal narratives, it may seem impossible, at first.

To make this work, you’ll need some strategies –

Pre-writing exercises can activate creativity, and cue memories related to life experiences. They can provide the raw material you’ll need to draw on later, when you're drafting your personal statement.

The freewriting approach helps you bypass your inner-critic so you can connect with your authentic voice.

To get started, go to Step One of the Six Step Guide. Read through the prompts, and have fun choosing the character traits and values that connect to your personality.

Set a timer for 20 minutes, and write continuously. Keep moving forward. (No stopping if you draw a blank.) Don’t re-read, or make corrections, or think ahead. The goal is to be in a state of flow; a judgment-free zone where you trust your thoughts, feelings and ideas.

Then, let it be. Take some time away and clear your head.

When you return to your writing, certain phrases or ideas will pop out at you. Highlight them. Don’t be surprised if you feel like an explorer discovering gold.

Keep this writing in a safe place. Treasure it. And when the time comes to draft a personal statement for your applications, it will be there for you, ready to inspire. Just like a Valentine.

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