As you now know, writing isn’t just something you do in a sudden burst of activity when the essay deadline starts to loom. Such a last-minute approach usually produces poorly organized and incoherent essays, because it eliminates the idea of writing as a process, and focuses only on the product.
Feel empowered by knowing that writing is a process with a number of phases, only the last few of which involve setting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard).
Students typically panic about academic writing because they feel they’ve nothing to say. This sense of mental blankness (writer’s block) is, paradoxically, caused by being aware of too many possible things you could say. If you avoid committing yourself to any particular approach, your mind is unable to form a coherent mental picture of the topic, so that it seems impossible to form a connected argument.
You can escape from this mental blankness by defining the problem. Systematically think through what the question is asking you to do and develop writing strategies on the basis of the research you’ve already done.
Reflect on these key ideas as you face your next writing challenge:
- Process writing is a natural set of steps that writers take to create a finished piece of work.
- It is a process of organizing ideas and creativity through text.
- The focus of process writing is on process, not on the end-product.
- It is useful for all skill levels, from children to published authors, to develop an authentic, creative work.
- It breaks the act of writing into manageable steps that can be taken over a period of time, rather than all at once.
- The above steps do not exist in a linear way. Writers sometimes go back and forth among steps.
You have the authority to shape the writing process as it best fits YOU. It is a tool meant to serve your best interests, after all.