Reason #41 Why Folks Don’t Write

There are many reasons folks don’t write. Lack of talent isn’t one of them.

Format training is. Not always, but sometimes.

Format training varies, but one that most of us have met is the essay-question format. The word “ESSAY” literally translates to “exert power,” which is nifty. I just haven’t met too many who associate exerting power with answering an essay question.

It isn’t that making a statement, supporting the statement, then concluding is bad. It isn’t that we all come naturally equipped with better ways to express thoughts. It’s just that essay questions tend to have expectations. When somebody TELLS you what to write about, the creative imp rebels, hides in corners and generally refuses to come out; or does so in a crabby and stiffy manner.

If you need to coax your inner elf out, try this:

1. Read the essay question twice, then argue with the question. Write that.
2. Assume the asker of the essay question is someone you want to impress, like God or Walter Payton.
3. Listen to any music you love, really love. Listen for the essay-ness of the music. Music IS essay at its best. Most lyrics make a statement, support the statement and conclude. This just might give you a little more patience with essay writing.

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About Mrs. Fitz

Hello! I'm Michele Fitzpatrick, a Chicago writer. Like our town, a work in progress. As a journalist, teacher and writing coach I think all of us live our stories and sharing them creates moments that remind us we're connected. And that is enough.
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