You aren't going to lifehack your way to being an author with bullshit lists. And by the way, you can use the word very as much as you fucking please.
You may think that once you’ve gotten a draft done that you’re good to go. Not so! Editing is one of the most important parts of writing the best college essay possible, and here are two essential college essay tips for editing.
To recap, here’s our 13 tips for the best college essay ever: College Essay Planning Tips:
Serious question: If we all listen to the same experts and we all follow the same writing advice, how is it possible for anyone to stand out from the crowd? The trap many aspiring authors and writers (especially young writers) fall into is they believe if they mimic a famous author or writer, they’ll be popular too. Imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, but it’s a no-win proposition. Even if you succeed, you’ll be indistinguishable from all the other parrots out there. There’s only one you. You have unique DNA. Your hopes, thoughts, and dreams are unique. Even the face you make when you accidentally walk into a spider web is unique. Want to stand out? Develop your own writing style. When you sit down to write, tap into what makes you… well, you.
If you aren’t using power words or sensory language in your writing, you’re missing out. Smart writers and copywriters use power words to give their content extra punch, personality, and pizzazz. And great writers from Shakespeare to Stephen King to Ernest Hemingway use sensory words evoking sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell to paint strong scenes in the minds of their readers. Both types of words are effective and super simple to use. If you’re tired of lifeless words sitting on a page, try sprinkling power and sensory words throughout your content.
Many first drafts are clumsy, sloppy, and difficult to read. This is true for most writers — even experienced, well-known ones. So what separates great content from the nondescript? Editing. The hard part isn’t over once your first draft is complete; on the contrary, it’s only beginning. To take your big words to the next level, you need to spend just as much time editing your words as you do creating them. It’s ruthless work. It’s kind of boring. But it’s vital.
Most readers stick around for fewer than 15 seconds. Heck, most will stick around for fewer than 5 seconds. Why? Because readers are experts at scanning. They’ll click your headline, quickly scan your content, and — in only a few seconds — decide whether to stay or go. Writing a great intro is one way to convince readers to stick. Another? Write masterful subheads that create curiosity, hook your readers, and keep them on the page long enough to realize your content is worth reading.
Whether you’re blogging, crafting a short story, working on a creative writing essay for your high school English class, dipping your toes into content marketing, or writing the backstory for what you hope will be a bestselling non-fiction novel for Amazon; most of us are limited in the amount of time we have available to write. So, if you want more time to write every day, you only have three options:
Smart Blogger’s CEO, Jon Morrow, recommends spending at least 20% of your time on the headline for your content. That isn’t a typo. If you spend 10 to 20 hours writing an article, 2 to 4 of those hours should be spent writing and re-writing the headline. Why so many? Because if your headline sucks, no one is going to give your content a chance. In short: Headlines are important. Practice writing them so you get really, really freakin’ good at them. It’s a writing habit that’ll pay off again and again.
Too many writers dilute their writing with weak, empty words that bring nothing to the table. Worse? They silently erode your reader’s attention — one flabby phrase at a time. Spot these weak words and eliminate them from your writing.