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Friday, June 1, 2012

Breaking Up Your Writing Process | enunnally, Hub Pages

One main cause of writer's block -- aka, simply getting started on a writing project -- is the supposed overwhelming task ahead. Blogger Erin describes a useful step-by-step process for getting a handle on that task right form the start. She writes, about covering this issue in her classes:
[O]ne of the first things we talk about is how to break up the writing process so that instead of being paralyzed by the amount of work to be done, they can focus on each individual part and have a much more productive experience.
Erin focuses on essay-writing, but her advice covers most types of writing. Summarized, here are Erin's seven steps:
1. Brainstorming ...
I prefer free writing. Look at your assignment or writing prompt and then sit down and write whatever comes to mind for 15 minutes. Do not stop. If you get stuck, write "I don't know what else to say about this..." and let your ideas go elsewhere. ...
2. Outlining ...
It doesn't matter if you follow the classical form of using roman numerals and such (although that can be useful to some); what matters is that you think critically about your ideas and focus on putting them in the right order. ...
3. Drafting ...
Using your outline as a guide (and maybe even going back to some of what you wrote while brainstorming), start developing your ideas into paragraphs. ... Focus on information at this point. Get your main ideas down ....
4. Second Outline ...
Making an outline of what you have written will help you focus on how your main points are coming across in your essay. You can then compare that to your first outline and see where things may have changed ....
5. Peer Review ...
Having someone else look at it now provides you with sort of a "test audience" so that you can be sure you're getting your point across clearly and fully explaining everything and connecting ideas. ...
6. Revising ...
The goal now is to answer this question: "Have I clearly communicated what I'm trying to say to my audience?"
7. Proofreading ...
It's tempting to fix spelling and grammar mistakes earlier on in the process because we always want our writing to be correct, but proofreading too early can actually create more work for you. ... Focus on your ideas first. ... When you've done that, fix the mechanics so that there are no distractions or confusing points.
For more advice, check out Garbl's Writing Process Links. It's an annotated directory of websites that can help you follow the steps in the writing process, such as prewriting, research, drafting, editing, revising, proofreading and publishing. A separate directory features websites that can help you prevent or defeat Writer's Block.

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