Monday, November 12, 2012

Writing is a Process, Not a Product Part II

Perhaps the hardest part of writing is actually getting started.  Once you get started, it's usually fairly easy to keep going, but you can spend forever agonizing over that perfect opening.  You get so wrapped up in that one or two sentences meant to draw in the reader that the rest of the writing and the whole purpose of what you're writing can fall by the wayside.  When it comes to a paper you have been looking forward to for two years, you agonize even more over ever little detail even more than usual.

Over the years, I've written my fair share of papers, and I've found the best process, at least for me, is just to write.  Yes, I've written roughly thirty pages in a week, but is it thirty pages of quality writing?  Probably not.  As long as I have the general ideas down on papers, that's all that matters to me.  It's fairly easy to revise a paper, at least for me.  Once everything is out on paper, I can move it around, add more, cut parts out, completely change the paper if I want.  I still have a ways to go, the paper needs some major revisions, but I've gotten it started, and that's better than nothing.

Keep posted, in the next few days I'll theoretically have a completed draft to start revising.  That's another thing of mine, I don't like incomplete drafts.  When I write, I like to write until I'm done, then I go back and revise and edit.  I don't like to write a few pages, then revise those few pages, then move on to write a few more pages and repeat the process.  How can I successfully revise a section if I have no idea if it will flow properly with the rest of the paper?  I like to look at the paper as a whole, not as a collection of paragraphs and sections meant to support a thesis statement.

Already, I can see some major revisions in store.  Today, about 23 pages into my paper, I discovered that the thesis statement I had was not sufficient for all the research I did.  In fact, I modified my thesis statement about halfway through my paper.  I didn't completely change it, but I definitely made some changes to it.  These changes are undoubtedly for the best, and I think it'll make my paper better.  Writing involves being flexible, just going with the flow and seeing where the creativity takes you, even if that's in a completely new direction.

No comments:

Post a Comment