individual writing in notebook

Using P.O.W.E.R. to Take On “the Blank Page”

The blank page has always been intimidating for me. Upon first sight, it makes me feel anxious – worried about writing the perfect piece, finishing on time, let alone trying to communicate my thoughts and ideas. Then I was introduced to the acronym P.O.W.E.R.


The acronym seemed simple but when I began to implement it into my writing process everything changed! Instead of facing a blank page with fear, anxiety, and perfectionism, P.O.W.E.R. helped me focus on my writing one step at a time. Here’s how it works for me:

Planning helps me see the bigger picture and answer the writing prompt concisely. While planning, I like to choose the topic of my paper and the main ideas I want to communicate.

An outline feels like my saving grace. If I can write one main idea, with 3 supporting points and wrap them up in an introduction and conclusion sandwich, I am on my way!

Writing invites me to use my outline and transform the three supporting points into sentences. I then add transitions, so each sentence flows together to form a paragraph.

Editing encourages me to read my work over for spelling errors, grammar mistakes, or the little things that get brushed aside when I am trying to finish a paper for a deadline.

Revision gives me opportunity for a break. At this point, I like to share my paper with a third party (a friend, colleague, or the VWC). Once I get their feedback, I make the necessary changes and am ready to publish!

After taking an extended break from writing, I wasn’t sure if I would ever be the same writer again. Using P.O.W.E.R. has given me my voice back and has helped me take on the blank page in a way my anxiety never thought possible.

Kylie_SteeleKylie Steele
Virtual Writing Center
Antioch University