The Writing Process

24 Sep

When we are in the process of writing, we find ourselves deleting, adding, editing – routinely changing our words and ideas. When we start writing an essay, we can never surely know what the outcome will be. Writing is somewhat comparable to a problem-solving process, in that it requires a myriad of drafts and steps to achieve a finished product. To me, writing is a very complex thing. It requires a lot of thinking on the writer’s part, in order to present a thesis and ideas in a coherent manner. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to perfect an essay in just an hour or two. It requires hours of patience and step-by-step analysis.

In schools and universities, teachers often enforce peer editing skills, in which we garner others’ opinions about our paper. We get secondhand advice concerning global issues, local issues, as well as constructive criticism. It’s always best to have someone else read the rough draft. They can look at it from a reader’s perspective and tell us exactly what we’re missing in our writing. Local revision is when we make changes to a text affecting only one or two sentences that we are in the middle of writing. On the other hand, global revision is when a change in one part of our draft drives changes in the other parts of the draft. We should always start out with global and end with local – just to keep things from becoming too convoluted. There are many other habits which are important to adapt, such as scheduling a good time, discovering which specific methods of drafting work best, thinking about audience and purpose from the start, etc.

Sometimes, we may feel utterly dumbfounded and frustrated when we are in the middle of the writing process. It’s safe to say that all famous and renown writers went through the same situation – a perpetual cycle of drafts before creating a final masterpiece. Sylvia Plath, one of my favorite authors/poets, was known for her constant scribbling and writing and editing. Many of her handwritten drafts and typescripts are on the web, and you can see that she was always trying to find a way to improve her writing. This specific draft is from her femist poem, “Stings,” which about the unbalanced relationship between men and women, husbands and wives, and Plath’s overall resentment between the role of women in society.



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