Start first with writing three short activity paragraphs: Brainstorming Tip #2
The Common App requires a short activity statement. That short piece is key as well. So start with writing three short activity paragraphs.
In writing them, make them as interesting and exciting as possible. Start with a story. Keep them to 1000 characters (including spaces).
Maybe one of these can turn into a long.
Shorts are very useful for the Common Application and supplemental essays. None will ever go to waste.