Diary of a College Application Essay – Entry #6

October 16, 2011

Finished my essay about two days ago, then let it “cook.” Didn’t read it, tried not to think about it although it seems that’s all anyone at good old SoLa is talking about these days. Then, the big moment… I read it again and… I liked it! Well, most of it. There were parts that still needed work but by taking that little break, I was able to see them really clearly.

Like, repeating words. It’s hard to notice sometimes but you need variety in your word choice. And also, sentence structure, gotta give that a little rhythm, like short one, long one, then one that begins with a prepositional phrase, then two short ones and so on. But the big thing I noticed in my second, or was it third draft was that sometimes I got in my own way. What I mean by that is that I was cruising along with an awesome point about how taking my photos of the senior citizens in my neighborhood really taught me about how lonely it can get when you’re old, and instead of sticking to that – what I learned – I suddenly started talking about how my grandpa was a drummer in an all girl band. And even though that’s true (and kinda creepy), it still threw the whole essay out of whack. So in my next draft (4 ?) I pulled out anything that wasn’t right on the point. That hurt because some of was pretty good and killing the little chickadees that I had hatched myself was tough. But guess what? The essay got even better.

Whew! So much to say about 500 measly words.

October 17, 2011

Showed the essay to three friends who are awesome writers. I figured that was a good number to learn a little more about how it was working. Two of them said I needed more specifics about the old people so I added that stuff in tonight. Only now the essay is 563 words.

Stayin’ cool, no frustration, gonna handle it, yeah. ‘Cause last year in English I learned all about editing strategies. Like, take out a big chunk first, instead of just chipping away a word at a time. And, if you used three words to describe something, use one instead. Or, cut the adjectives completely. You can also get into it faster, and wrap it up a little quicker, too, both of which I did. So here I am sitting pretty at 504 words and I am… toast.

October 18, 2011

Started working on the short essay on the Common App. “Elaborate on my extra curricular?” Okay, not only am I on the volleyball team but I look really hot in my uniform. Uhm, that’s probably not it. Okay… more brainstorming. I guess I could talk about how I am absolutely sure that I’m going to keep horseback riding for my entire life. Because, sitting in that saddle, preparing for a jump, I get so completely focused and alert, the whole world slows down and it’s just me, the horse and that bar in front of us. And, sure, every little girl says she wants a horse for her birthday but I’m really going to get one when I get older. There is no doubt in mind and I’m not going to wait for someone to give it to me, either. I’m going to buy it for myself.

Whoa… Did I just write the essay? Could be. Well, started to write the essay, at least. I am so-o-o good!

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