The Best College Essays Ever

For all one knows that demon is simply the same instinct that makes a baby squall for attention. The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself.

And yet it is also true that one can write nothing readable unless one constantly struggles to efface one’s own personality. I cannot say with certainty which of my motives are the strongest, but I know which of them deserve to be followed. I suppose that it begins or does not begin in the cradle.

The traditional techniques of fairy tales—identifiable, named—are reborn in the different ways we all tell stories.”. A characteristically wonderful exploration of Miller’s own emotional, psychological, and technical struggles with writing.“I had to grow foul with knowledge, realize the futility of everything; smash everything, grow desperate, then humble, then sponge myself off the slate, as it were, in order to recover my authenticity.

I had to arrive at the brink and then take a leap in the dark.”. A gorgeous mini-essay from an American giant that is equally relevant to writers of poetry or prose, and is almost a poem itself.“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.

Inspiration could be called inhaling the memory of an act never experienced.

Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.

That is to say, most artists are converted to art by art itself.

Finding one’s voice isn’t just an emptying and purifying oneself of the words of others but an adopting and embracing of filiations, communities, and discourses.

If you scribble your thoughts any which way, your reader will surely feel that you care nothing about them.

They will mark you down as an ego maniac or a chowderhead — or, worse, they will stop reading you.” from Orwell.

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