Hello there dear reader! I’m going to share with you a few common struggles people have with essay writing, me included, and maybe a few ways on how to improve on them!
How do I find a topic to write about?
Hey, I get it! Writer’s block absolutely sucks, or maybe you aren’t creative enough to find a topic, so it’s completely understandable. Finding a topic to write about is difficult, never mind an actually interesting one that people would be interested in.
My essays usually revolve around tv-shows, movies, games, books etc., so I usually turn to those for inspiration. You don’t have to write about the entire piece of media for example, but what I like to do is to take a specific theme and write about that. Like for example writing about income inequality in Casanegra (a Moroccan movie). You can either make a loose connection and just talk about the theme or topic in general, or talk about how it is portrayed in the piece of media.
Another way of finding something to write about could be something in your everyday life. I remember reading this danish essay called “Jeg, en grovbolle” (translated it means, I, a bun), talking about how in school, what you ate at lunch determined which group you were a part of and how you literally are what you eat.
Something so simple as lunch can become a topic for a multipage essay. Thinking out of the box and creatively about simple things in our lives, can make for the best and most interesting essays!
Reviewer brain is a term coined by awesome YouTube channel and video essayists named “Transparency“. Reviewer brain happens when an essayist while writing about a piece of media, goes off-topic to discuss the piece’s shortcomings or starts reviewing the piece of media when it is completely unnecessary. For some reason, you feel obligated to mention the bad things about the piece of media, before others can correct you.
I myself have been a victim of this tragic illness, and I have found ways on how to combat this, but I would still highly recommend watching the video yourself if you want to learn more!
Remember to ask yourself if what you’re writing is even relevant to the subject matter and review at large. You don’t have to please other people by mentioning that the book you’re writing about’s pacing is weird at times, or the video game’s graphics are shit. Write for yourself first, you can be personal and ignore a few shortcomings of the piece of media, that’s completely ok!
Staying on topic
This point is a bit similar to reviewer brain, but this matters to all essays. Remember to stay on topic and not veer off into weird tangents that inevitably lead nowhere and doesn’t further your point. Interesting and good essays keep the reader engaged in whatever you are discussing and reading into. Staying on topic also helps the essays pace and makes it flow way better, and nothing is better than an essay that doesn’t waste your time and reads extremely well.
What really helps with staying on topic, and also reviewer brain is to ask yourself if what you’re writing is relevant every once in a while. If you’re unsure, then maybe ask someone to read it through and see if they think it’s unnecessary and should be taken out.
Also for the love of all that is holy, read through your stuff a few times and edit it, so you can make it flow better and fix any grammatical mistakes! You have no idea how many times a simple read-through has infinitely improved my writing.
Bonus reading material!
Heyo! I wrote this poem a while back and as a gift for you that has read through this piece (thank you btw really appreciate it), you too can experience it!
Laying down on the old familiar hill.
It’s nighttime but the moonlight shines so brightly.
The town and its winding roads, so empty, yearning for something or someone to fill the emptiness.
I look up at the sky, gazing at planets and dying stars.
So beautiful, yet spine-chilling. So far away and unreachable.
Suddenly a boy walks up to me and lays down beside me. He gazes at the dying stars, making innocent and sweet remarks. “Oh my gosh, those stars look like one big space raccoon!”.
I giggle at his remarks.
I then reach my hand out to him.
He then holds it firmly, never letting go.
Magically the stars come back to life, reinvigorated with energy and joy.