Every fall, we find that writer’s block ranks in the top two for most stressful issues applicants face. (The LSAT is the other one.) Since 1996, we’ve helped several thousands of law school applicants overcome this psychological road block and produce high-quality personal statements that have helped them gain admission to their reach law schools. We hope this article and video help an even larger number of law school applicants with this condition.
Without further ado, let’s summarize our top five tips to help you promptly break ground on that admissions winning law school personal statement we know you have hidden inside you.
1. Set an artificially short deadline.
Set this artificial deadline for no more than a week from now. The abilities of law school hopefuls to write original copy when their backs are to the walls are legendary. Think positive and you too will join the ranks of these legends by producing a solid draft in such a short time after so much procrastination!
2. Be heard. (But only by you.)
Don’t want to inconvenience someone to be your sounding board? Use that mirror. (It can serve more than one purpose after all.) Say it out loud. It can be a bit rough but if you can say it out loud, you should then be able to transfer those thoughts to paper.
3. Get away.
You now full well what your distractions are and how to stay away from them. If your weakness is texting, leave the smart phone behind. If the television is the normal source of your undoing, go outside (weather permitting) or to the library.
4. It doesn’t matter where you start.
If you have writer’s block, then you are having trouble getting anything started. To break the inertia, just jump in with the conclusion, topic sentence, wherever and start. There will be time later to figure out how to best piece it all together.
5. Treat grammar as another distraction to be avoided.
The first draft is not the place to worry about grammar. Or wordsmithing. The first draft is instead when you should be brainstorming and capturing your ideas. On a serious note, if you are trying to get everything done in one revision, you should revisit your desire to attend law school. If you only have time for one revision because of an impending deadline and the school is any kind of reach, well then you should probably resign yourself to reapply earlier the next year.