Advice From Inside: What to do About Writer’s Block

Writers block can happen to anyone at any time, but it’s especially awful when you’re trying to write the ever-important college essay! But have no fear; we tapped into the mind of one of Campus Bound’s most experienced Essay Specialists to help you out.

One thing that sets Campus Bound apart is our expert staff of Essay Specialists. They review hundreds of Campus Bound students’ college essays each year and help students through each step of the essay writing process.

For this issue of “Advice from Inside,” we tapped into this amazing resource and asked Essay Specialist, Helene Lerner, who has been helping students with college essays for over 30 years, how she would help a student who is struggling with “Writer’s Block.”

Helene Lerner:

“Students can unblock “Writer’s Block” by trying a few easy steps. First, clear the mind and the area of clutter, and either get some note cards, a pad of paper or the computer, and write down on separate pages an issue, a program, a circumstance — ANYTHING that has had an impact or is a passion. Try for 3 to 5 of them; even give 5 minutes or 10 minutes to do this exercise in a controlled environment.

Then go back and write bullets/notes of ideas that go along with each of them. Students can walk away from this exercise and go back to it with more clarity and objectivity, and then choose one that excites and shows some form of personal growth for which specific examples can be cited. It’s even a good idea to keep a notepad by the bed at night just in case an idea suddenly pops into the mind!

The Common App prompts can all be tailored to almost any topic, so one can see how this new “unblocked” thought can develop into a full-blown essay and be shared with the counselor and essay specialist.”


If you need assistance with any step of the essay-writing process, or college application process in general, Campus Bound and our expert staff of Counselors and Essay Specialists are here to help.

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