This article was originally published on COLLIVE.com on February 17, 2016.
With only one week left to submit an essay for the MyLife: Essay Contest, organizers give 10 tips for writing a winning entry.
The deadline for essay submissions is only one week away, and the excitement surrounding the MyLife: Essay Contest is growing. Writers have until next Wednesday (February 24th), 11:59 PM EST, to submit their essays in order to qualify to win prizes (First Prize: $10,000, Second Prize $3,600, and Third Prize $1,000).
Reports are coming in from around the world how writers of all ages are immersed in writing essays which apply a concept in Chassidus to solve a real life issue or challenge. At the Meaningful Life Center the submissions have been pouring in from students, baalei batim, educators and leaders, and shluchim from communities around the globe.
With one week to the deadline, there is no time to waste. If you intend on submitting an essay, now is the time sit down and write. In order to assist contestants with various essay related challenges, the MyLife: Essay Contest Team has some advice to offer. Drawing on the collective wisdom of the contest judges, and the experience of last year’s contest winners and finalists, the MyLife: Essay Contest brings you “Ten Tips for Writing Your MyLife Essay”. Remember, these are in addition to the contest guidelines, which spell out the requirements for an eligible essay.
Ten Tips for Writing Your MyLife Essay
1. The general approach to learning a Maamor, Sicha etc., should be with the conviction that this is teaching me something practical. If initially this is not apparent keep thinking about it and delving deeper into it; never give up!
2.Try to use a concept in Chassidus that you have already learned. It is easier than starting from scratch, and chances are, if you still remember it, it affected you in some way.
3. Our finalists recommend writing about how Chassidus solved an actual personal issue or challenge that you have encountered. There is nothing that inspires writing more than passion and emotion that comes from personal experience.
4. First formulate in your mind the main point that you want to get across.Think about it as you go about your day, then sleep on it. Share it with a friend or two. Write it down, and read it. Keep editing it, until you start feeling that you have a clear grasp of the idea.
5. Before you begin writing, chart the flow of your essay with an outline or diagram. An outline of ideas consists of a list of headlines and general main points. Try to map out a clear starting point and destination. Include a direct citation from a source. Then slowly start fleshing out each point, with supporting paragraphs for each section of your essay.
6. Ask your family and friends to review your essay before you submit. You will be sure to gain useful insight and suggestions.
7. Some useful advice from our writers for dealing with “writer’s block”: Just write! Put your pen to the paper and start writing, even if it is not the outcome you were imagining, you can always go back and change it. Writing is all about rewriting.
8. For productive writing and clarity of thought, try to find a quiet time and place to write your essay. Try your best to remove distractions; this may include leaving your cell phone in another room.
10. Bear in mind, winning is fun, and $10,000 is an amazing prize, but don’t let that become you only focus. Writing a MyLife: Essay should be an enriching and rewarding experience in its own right!
“To view the contest rules and guidelines, and to submit an essay please visit www.meaningfullife.com/contest.
For questions regarding the contest please email firstname.lastname@example.org.