In order to truly improve your writing, you need to read widely and consistently. People aren’t born as outstanding writers; they practice, just as anyone practices their craft in order to become masters of it. However, over the next week of essays and final exams season, there is probably one tip that will help you put pen to paper as you complete essays. It is a simple idea, captured by Brainpickings in this article by Marla Popova: just write.
In this outstanding article that summarizes the daily routines of well-known writers, E.B. White is quoted as saying the following: “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” You should not wait for the perfect moment to write, which for many is likely last minute. Instead, sit down at your computer, or with a pen and several pieces of paper, and let things go. Remember Sydney Rudko’s piece on rap and creativity? The same principle follows for writing: let your mind go completely blank, and jot down whatever comes to mind. Ignore the left hemisphere, your analytical part of the brain. Do not think about what others will think about your writing, or whether you’ve chosen the correct word for a particular sentence. Just write, and see what comes out. You’ll probably be surprised at the quality of writing that you produce.
So as essays arrive and you feel the pressure of handing them in on time, follow E.B. White’s advice and put your pen to paper, today. Of course, complete the research required for your paper beforehand. But once that is done, let your mind go and see what you produce. Good luck.