Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The writing process

One of the biggest mistake that people make is they think that you just start writing and bingo! Instant masterpiece... I wish it worked that way but the reality is far different for writers. Writing is a process, sometimes a long frustrating one, but a process either way. Here are the basic steps that you need to take for quality writing.

  1. Pre-writing. This is where you figure out what you are going to write about and begin to plan out your paper or essay.
  2. Writing your initial draft. Self explanatory...
  3. Revision. This is where the real work begins. Here you start to make changes to your paper. You smooth out transitions, strengthen ideas and generally turn your draft into something to be proud of. I've never written a paper that could not be improved with a revision or 5.
  4. Editing. This is where you get rid of all the misspelled words and grammar errors.
  5. Publication. Hopefully you get high marks for your effort.
Now you may have seen variations on this theme but the foundations never change. To write effectively you have to do more than sit at the computer and abuse the keyboard. You have to have a plan and follow through on that plan.

Right now I'm working (or I should be!) on my final paper. I'm almost finished with step 1, the pre-write and by tomorrow I'll be working on my draft and revising it. I will have it finished by Friday so I can turn it in and enjoy my vacation.

The moral of the story is this... Don't be afraid to make changes to your paper/essay/blog/proposal/speech. It can always be improved.