Using Writing Frustration As a Learning Tool

Using Writing Frustration As a Learning Tool

No one likes being frustrated. But those moments when we're grinding our teeth and clenching our fists can teach us valuable lessons.

I recently learned a truth about myself and how I communicate. All because I was frustrated. This post gets around to writing, I promise. But it starts with a story.

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What's So Great About the Writing Process?

What's So Great About the Writing Process?

The writing process is what sustains writers once we—invariably—use up the initial excitement that comes from beginning a new project.

If you need some reinforcements to convince a student—or yourself—that using the writing process is beneficial, here it is. What's so great about the writing process is that It is…

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Streamline Your Writing Process Using the 6 Parts of Your Writing Brain

Streamline Your Writing Process Using the 6 Parts of Your Writing Brain

Some parts of the writing process require free-form creativity. Other parts need organization and strategy. And some need good old fashioned nose-to-the-grindstone determination to just get the job done. The secret to making writing easier is shifting into the mental state appropriate for each part of the writing process.  To shift, you have to trust. If you don't trust your writing process, you won't be able to stay within it, doing one kind of thinking at a time.

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5 Reliable (and simple!) Steps to Write a Better Essay Title

5 Reliable (and simple!) Steps to Write a Better Essay Title

The essay's done. You've worked really hard on it. You've revised and proofread. But what about the title? It feels like you either have to slap on whatever bland, boring, title comes to mind first, or else wait around forever for inspiration to strike. 

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The Right Way to Fail (at writing or anything else)

The Right Way to Fail (at writing or anything else)

Failure is the new success. It's finally being recognized for the powerful learning tool that it is. It’s the best thing since sliced bread. So let's talk about bread. And cakes, and pastries, and pies. What does baking have to do with writing? Besides being two of my favorite activities, both have what I call failure thresholds. These are points beyond which failure stops being our teacher and starts being our nemesis. 

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How to Use Mathematical Thinking to Write a Great Title for Your Essay

How to Use Mathematical Thinking to Write a Great Title for Your Essay

There's a common misconception that the length of finished writing matches the length of time it takes to write. But the shorter something is, the more thoughtful you have to be in creating it. The way to fight the pressure of writing something short is to make your brain agree to come up with a lot of ideas and then cut away the ones that don’t work.

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Find Your Writing Profile to Make Writing Easier

Find Your Writing Profile to Make Writing Easier

Once you identify your Writing Profile, you'll make better choices about how to gather your ideas and start writing. You'll spend less time fighting your way through fruitless exercises, and you'll spend more time in the writing "flow" zone, that place where your ideas are free to frolic because you've given them a framework they recognize and like.   

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7 Reasons Teaching Kids to Write Is Hard, Especially When They're Gifted

7 Reasons Teaching Kids to Write Is Hard, Especially When They're Gifted

Why is writing such a difficult subject to teach and to learn? And why does it seem particularly challenging for bright kids, whose intelligence actually seems like a hindrance in this subject? There are quite a few reasons that writing is especially challenging for gifted kids.

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How to Get Into College Without Being Perfect (or, why applying to college is a lot like dating)

How to Get Into College Without Being Perfect (or, why applying to college is a lot like dating)

If it feels like you have to be perfect to get into college, you’re putting too much pressure on yourself. If you spend all of your energy trying to attract schools by being a larger-than-life super-teen, you’ll miss out on the chance to find the college that would fit your true, imperfect, quirky self.

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Real-Life Writing Prompts to Increase Motivation

Real-Life Writing Prompts to Increase Motivation

Taking the time to make writing practical reinvigorates young writers by giving them good reasons to put their ideas on paper. Instead of writing because they "have to," children can be motivated to write for a purpose. Here are nine highly-motivating, real-world prompts that will help children connect with writing. 

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The Number-One Predictor of College Success (Hint: It's a pleasant surprise!)

The Number-One Predictor of College Success (Hint: It's a pleasant surprise!)

An article came up in my newsfeed this week about how researchers are accurately predicting the success of college students before classes even start for the semester. But it wasn’t a recipe for success. The article seemed to suggest that some kids have what it takes to graduate, and others are doomed to drop out, no matter how motivated they are or how ready they feel for college. Here's why it was all wrong.

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6 Ways Writing Helps You Get Into College

6 Ways Writing Helps You Get Into College

No matter what major you’re considering for college, getting writing help on your application will give you a better chance of being accepted to your top schools. Here are the six reasons that getting writing help for your college essay will significantly boost your chances of acceptance to the right schools.

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3 Ways to Add Joy to Writing

3 Ways to Add Joy to Writing

It's only to be expected that kids would find writing an agonizing chore. Many of them only ever experience it as a forced activity. They're told what to write, how to write it, and then chastised for not “saying enough.” If you’re seeing resistance to writing in your child, maybe writing isn’t the problem. Maybe it’s the lack of connection to writing.

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