Work In Progress

I think that the most interesting aspect of the assignment is the introspection that the topic requires. It is one thing to write about the purpose of writing in general, but it is quite something else to write about my own reasons for writing. To tackle this assignment, I have to consider my experience with writing and question myself honestly (which, I have to say, is a bit intimidating).

Before I started working on my draft, I knew that I’d have to spend a fair amount of time thinking back and reflecting on my own writing process. To be honest, I was rather apprehensive but excited about it. On one hand, it was exciting to look back at how far I’d come in terms of my writing abilities and to think about my reasons for writing. On the other hand, I was a little nervous about trying to express these thoughts.

After a day of mulling over the topic and trying (rather unsuccessfully) to create an outline in my head, I flopped onto my bed with a notebook and a pencil in hand. My specific goal was to trace my own progress in writing. A half hour later, I found myself staring at a page full of notes. In my notes, I had traced my progress in chronological sequence. When I read over my notes, I was surprised that I could see a recurring theme. I circled key words that jumped out at me and then I knew where I had to start my paper.

However, having a sense of direction obviously isn’t all there is to it. Now that I know what I want to say, the next hurdle is conveying the right message effectively. A couple of pages on, I still feel as though there is a lot that I’m missing. The problem seems to lie in the way I want to express myself. The picture I have in my mind just isn’t translating to words as well as I want it to.

I plan to work through this by revisiting all of my significant experiences with writing. I know that there are still little pieces to fit together and connections to make to form the big picture in my essay. Hopefully, I’ll find these pieces and connections through more pondering and rewriting.

2 thoughts to “Work In Progress”

  1. Crystal,

    I’ve been running into the same problem as you with my first draft – I sort of have a general idea of where I want the paper to go, but I’m having trouble finding a way to express it creatively. I often find that the solution to this problem is (unfortunately) time. It seems like you’re on a good track: you have a direction and a basis for your framework, so I agree that with time and rewriting you will find the answer to this obstacle.

    However, I do have a suggestion: some of the most interesting essays I’ve read in past English courses have been essays that group together different experiences/narratives that create a larger picture; even though the stories remain separate (by section titles, spaces, etc.), they all lead to a general idea/story that they aim to tell. So if you’re having trouble thinking of how to connect all of your ideas, this might be a potential way to go.

    Good luck with your first draft!

    – Allie

    1. Oh, time. Sometimes I don’t know how I feel about time when I’m writing. While I love how I can sit for hours and not realize it because I’m so absorbed in what I’m writing, I hate how time seems to zoom by when a paper’s deadline is approaching and there are ten other things to get done.

      Anyway, what a coincidence that you brought up using separate experiences because that was what I was working on in my first draft. I think that the links are what I still need. The key points are there but the transitions are weak.

      Thank you for the suggestion! Good luck with your draft too!

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