Generally most of the students I have tutored so far have had problems finding the initial idea to inspire their piece of writing. This is by far one of the most common complaints for beginning and novice writers. “What do I write about?” Every person has different processes that inspire creativity. While this solution might not be for everyone, I always have trouble coming with ideas on the spot to initiate my writing. My unique process for solving this problem involves three simple steps.

Student- Hello I’m here for tutoring

Tutor- Hi what can I help you with today

Student- I am having trouble writing my essay for English. We read an essay and the professor gave us three writing prompts and I have no idea where to start. I just keep drawing blanks.

Tutor- Have you tried using diagrams?

Student- Yes, they doesn’t seem to work for me.

Tutor- Yea that doesn’t work for me either. I have trouble being creative in a stationary environment. Would you like to try something different that might help you?

Student- Definitely.

Tutor- Well first thing you need at least a week or two before your assignment is due. Is your assignment due soon?

Student- Nope I have a few weeks.

Tutor- Ok, great. Well first thing is to review your assignment sheet. Reread the questions a few times and try to think about it for a while. If nothing comes to you right away put it down and go do something else. Take a walk, go play sports, do something. Keep the paper and a pen with you. Try to think about the assignment at least a few times a day.

Student- Sounds easy but then what?

Tutor- Well the idea is that eventually something will inspire you. Once you have the idea write down everything you think about. This might take you 5 mins to write everything down or you might be writing for 2 hours. Hopefully when you are done with this step you will have a good portion of your essay. Then you go home, take your inspiration and finish writing your essay.

Student- That sounds really easy. Does it work?

Tutor- Well I know I write better when I have a clear goal and typically students write better when they are inspired by something. This is just a way to find something to write about where you have a clear idea and two that you have genuine feeling about the topic.