Every fall, there are many things we can always count on. Football will be a popular topic of conversation, we’ll gain an hour due to daylight savings time and way too many MBA applicants will struggle with writer’s block. We’ve helped tens of thousands of applicants overcome this psychological road block and produce high-quality essays that have helped them gain admission to their top-choice business schools. We decided to publish this article and embedded video on our site so we can help even more applicants with this condition.

So, here are the top five tips for overcoming writer’s block:

1. Impose an artificial deadline on yourself.

It goes without saying that it should be ambitious and well short of the real deadline. We’ve seen the miraculous abilities of b-school applicants to crank out essays in short order when their backs are to the walls. Harness this energy by implementing this first tip.

2. Think out loud.

Are you are too shy to ask your significant other or a trusted friend or family member? Then use a mirror. (You didn’t think we were going to let you off the hook that easily, did you?) Answer the essay question out loud. Try it and we’re confident you’ll see that this technique is as powerful as it is simple.

3. Remove all distractions.

You’re old enough now to know your vices and it’s up to you to eliminate them so you can get your essays started. If your vice is fantasy football, then unplug and use a paper and pen or pencil to scribble out a first draft. If your vice is television, consider going to a library.

4. Just start somewhere.

We define writer’s block to mean you’re having trouble with that proverbial blank sheet of paper. Since you will ultimately need an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion – and you don’t yet have any of these – just jump in and worry later about how to piece everything together.

5. Do NOT worry about grammar.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and your essay won’t be perfected after only one draft. Resign yourself to the fact that this will be a multiple revision effort and remember that grammar can be most efficiently fixed at the end.

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