As I sat and listened to the two speakers at last night’s How I Write session, I could not help but admire what they both had accomplished at relatively young ages. After getting lost in the hopeless maze that is North Quadrangle I missed the introductions to both of the writers. But, as I listened to Perry subtly reference all of his achievements while speaking, I was enamored with the breadth of subjects that he succeeded in.
While I was completely in awe of Perry and his resume, it was Melody who mentioned a couple of things that will assist me in future composition endeavors. Namely she emphasized just how time consuming every part of the writing process can be. She mentioned a paper that she was assigned in April of 2010 to be completed by September of that year, yet she ended up turning in the final draft in November of 2011. Obviously, she missed her deadline, well by a long shot. But, her main point was that she was not ready mentally and emotionally to finish the paper in that time frame. She encouraged us, whenever possible, to take time off of certain projects when the dreaded writer’s block comes about. Unfortunately, I think that I often rush this process, constantly worried about deadlines and how they fit into my schedule; I race to finish things, which might be better if left alone for the time being.
Another point which I am still grappling with, even after the meeting, was the process by which Melody revises her work. She essentially said that she tapes her entire paper to a large wall so as to minimize the feel of a massive document. She argued that when one can see the entire document at once, it often feels more manageable to tackle. I figure this may be something that I should attempt, because I find editing on sheets of paper much more effective than on my computer screen. Hopefully, I can heed this advice as this is the second person to boast of this strategy (Dr. Manis).