How to overcome mental blocks during MBA Application Essay Writing

MBA Application Essay Writing Overcoming Mental BlocksYou probably bought this book when you faced a mental block. Mental blocks are not limited to creative professionals but are common among MBA applicants. Writing in any form requires overcoming the fear of staring at a blank document, and the fear might not be entirely unfound. Fear drives mental blocks; especially the fear that the work that you produce would be mediocre. Some of the best writers reveal that the first few lines that they poured into paper were not their best. The commitment to your craft and the process of rewriting differentiate a professional from an amateur.

We have shortlisted five tips to overcome mental blocks during MBA Application writing sessions:

1) Exercise

Mild to moderate physical exercise releases endorphins, the neurotransmitter that alleviates pain, and creates a feeling of well-being. Include variations in exercise routines, and change the repetition patterns. This small change will bring certain elements of surprise, and excitement to the routines. Apart from the obvious benefits of a positive mood, exercise will shift your focus to the present, reducing the tendency to worry about the future. Once you are present in the moment, it becomes easier to translate thoughts into words. Free flow of ideas is crucial for the first draft.

2) Mute Logic

The biggest obstacle to writing from the heart is the tendency to connect every sentence in a logical order. Agreed that MBA Application Essays, with limited word limit, require a certain focus, but if you answer the question by focusing on how the answer logically addresses the question, the essay will look unnatural. The first draft should not focus on the word count or include sentences that only answers the question; instead, include experiences that are indirectly relevant for the question. During editing, structure the sentences with the question in mind, and remove the ones that don’t directly contribute towards the answer.

Related: Download F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay Guide

3) Change your Writing Environment

First, get out of your apartment and go for a walk. If you are close to a scenic view, the welcome break will rejuvenate your creative juices, and you would be raring to go. Even if you are in the middle of a concrete jungle, stretch a little bit and get your coffee from the Starbucks down the street. After a small break, move your laptop from your desk to a different location in the apartment; maybe near the window where you can see the movement of life. You will not be distracted once you get into the zone, but if you feel that the desk is the most sacred place and some of your best essays originated from ‘the desk,’ continue in that location. Remove any clutter – paper, notebook, stapler, and other files from the desk; use it exclusively for writing.

4) Notebook & Whiteboard

Although you should commit to writing your essays every day for a certain number of hours, sparks of life experiences that were crucial in defining your personality might flash in front of you while having a conversation with your friend, or during a presentation in your office. A 2.5” x 5” small notebook would be handy for noting down your ideas. The flash of ideas might not last. Therefore, it is essential that you write it down quickly before life’s routine takes your attention away from that important thought.

Keep a whiteboard near your desk for writing down an outline for your essay or setting the criteria for a “winnable” essay. Studies have shown that the larger the size of the whiteboard, the more the likelihood that you will write on it. Once you develop a habit of writing outlines, the process would have a direction, and soon you would be ready with the first draft.

5) Disconnect and Write

Disconnecting from social media, email alerts, and phone conversation, or essentially outside world is an important exercise to write effortlessly. Studies have shown that after one distraction, it takes 25 minutes to come back to the ‘writing zone.’ An insignificant email alert has a bigger consequence than you would have imagined. The disconnection might lead to symptoms of withdrawal, but let that feeling persist. With a focus on the present, that feeling will not last.

The most important step for overcoming mental blocks during essay writing sessions is to set a time to write. When you develop a routine to write 1-2 hours every day, before leaving for the office, the words will flow. Don’t give up after 10 minutes and check your Facebook or Twitter stream. Sit and stare at the blank word processing document. We have a tendency to fill the void with words, and thoughts. Wait a little, and soon words will fill that blank canvas, and you will start the process of writing freely. Continue to sit in the desk, every day, at the same time. If you have developed a routine before writing, like 50 pushups or taking the dog for a walk, do that.

Let the words flow!

If you need assistance writing, you can contact us for essay review

If you need tips to write a great MBA Essay, Download F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay Guide

Sample Essays + Essay Writing, Review & Editing Tips + 15 School-Specific Tips = Winning MBA Essay Guide

"Pressed against the deadline, I ordered F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay Guide as their blogs always had something interesting to say. It was by far one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Going through the Essay Guide, I learned the art of storytelling, using various ploys mentioned in the book. Most important one being the “W pattern,” a strategy of information sharing that creates a sense of excitement in the mind of the reader." -
MIT Sloan MBA Candidate

Only 1 in 900 gains admission to Harvard MBA program. If you write your essay focused only on your achievements, post-MBA goals, and your pre-MBA experience, you will be among the 899 rejected applicants.

ATTENTION is the secret ingredient. How will you get the attention of the essay reviewer?

You know why parables shared 1000 years ago are still shared among us?


Yes, the art of storytelling has won presidency for Obama, transformed Apple from an unknown start-up to a brand synonymous with Quality, and gained admission for the average MBA Applicant.

F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay guide will teach you how to transform your essay to an epic life journey with trials and tribulations that will move the admission team.

Who Should Buy The Winning MBA Essay Guide?

If your essay looks too bland, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you, with examples, on how to use the elements of Storytelling like Incorporating "The Struggle", Using Emotional connectors, narrating the Journey and the use of Chronology, Vividness and Active Verbs to transform your essays.

If you are stuck in the Writing process, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you how to silence the Analytic Mind and overcome mental blocks.

If you feel that the essays are not persuasive, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will teach you how to use the W-Pattern narrative, Contexts, Turning Points and "The Show Don't Tell Approach" to write a Winning MBA Essay.

If you don't have enough leadership experience, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you how to highlight non-obvious qualities like Trust, Focus, Listening Skills, Personal Responsibility, Humility, Self-Knowledge, and other secondary traits to prove your leadership.

If you don't know how to review your essays, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will demonstrate how to improve readability with the power of iteration, and maintain your original voice by removing review biases.

Pages: 637

Winning MBA Essay Guide Includes
+Harvard MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample MBA Essay – Gratitude & Giving Back (319 Words)   
    Sample MBA Essay – Entrepreneurship (Influence of Childhood) (401 Words)   
    Sample Harvard MBA Essay - Volunteering (Mental Health Awareness)   (774 Words)   
MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Essay A
+ Chicago Booth MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    #1. Modern Art = Make you Think   
    #2. Teamwork and Individual Ambition   
    #3. Adventure   
    #4. Diversity = Creativity   
    #5. Classroom Experience   
    #6. Harper Center   

+ Columbia MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay 1: Enterprise Technology to Consumer Marketing (495 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay 2:  New York for Marketing Professionals (244 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Marketing Lead) (242 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Technology – Engineering Lead) (248 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Pharma – Product Manager) (244 Words)  

+ MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample Cover Letter
+ Kellogg MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample Essay - Leadership and Challenges   
     Sample Essay - How you have grown and intend to grow   

+ Insead MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
   Sample Essay 1: Candid Description, Strengths & Weaknesses
    Sample Essay 2: Achievements and Failures
    Sample Essay 3: Extra-Curricular and How enriched you are

MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample MBA Essay: Non-Profit   
     Sample MBA Essay: Technology   
     Sample MBA Essay: Marketing   
     Sample MBA Essay: Getting Fired   
     Sample MBA Essay: Diverse and Inclusive Culture   
     Sample MBA Essay: Leadership   
     Sample MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goal & How Pre-MBA Experience will help  
+ Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample MBA Essay – Investment Banker
     Sample MBA Essay - Consultant  
     Sample MBA Essay - Technologist  
     Sample MBA Essay - Marketer  
     Sample MBA Essay - Entrepreneur  
+ Ross MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    Sample MBA Essay: Finance Professional who was a former member of a rock band   
    Sample MBA Essay: Technologist (Idea to Action)   
    Sample MBA Essay: Creative Marketing (Idea to Action)   
    Sample MBA Essay: Consulting (Made a Difference)   
    Sample MBA Essay: Losing a Client (Resilience)   
    Sample MBA Essay: Finance to Marketing (extra-curricular)   
    Sample MBA Essay: I am Aware that I am different   
    Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People   
    Sample MBA Essay: A valuable thing I have taught someone   
    Sample Essay – Part 2 (Short-term & Long-Term Goals, skills relevant to your career goals and how Ross  
    prepares you for the goals)   
+ Wharton MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    8 Professional Gains

London Business School
MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    London as the Financial Hub   
    London as the Technology Hub   
    London as the Consulting Hub   
    How to Cite the Curriculum (Example)   
    Sample LBS MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goals - How Prior Experience & LBS MBA will contribute (486   
+ Darden MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    Case Study Method   
    What is valued at Darden?
    Framework for Answering the Darden Essay Question   
    Sample Darden Essay: When your opinion evolved through discussions (499 Words)

+ Duke Fuqua MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua Short-Answer Essay Questions   
    Sample Short-term Goals Essay – Technology to Consulting (100 Words)   
    Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Consulting for Government (100 Words)   
    Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Plan B (89 Words)   
    Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua 25 Random Things   
    Sample Duke Fuqua Essay: The Fuqua community and you (Max 2 Pages)  
+ NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (498 Words)    
     Essay 3:  Personal Expression (a.k.a. "Pick Six")    
          5 Examples with Images

+ Sample Essays
+ The Art of Storytelling 
+ Leadership Narratives
+ Review Tips
+ Persuasion Strategies
+ The Secret to "unleashing" your unique voice
+ How to write about your Strengths
+ How to write about your Weaknesses

Download Winning MBA Essay Guide (2019 Entering Class)
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