For me writing is a lot like Anne Lamott describes it to be in “Shitty first drafts”. Lamott depends a lot on a shitty first draft because it helps her figure out what the process will lead her to. I depend on my shitty first draft because I see it more as a canvas where thoughts and ideas begin to form. Writing a shitty first draft can be the difference in whether I end up with a well-polished essay or a disastrous piece of work, but either way I feel that I must put pen to paper or, fingers to keyboard, for the purpose of going through the process in order to reach the end goal of creating a descent peace of work. This is how I go through that process.
First, knowing the due date of whatever writing work I must finish and knowing that I usually struggle with the introduction to my writing, I start writing early. I open a word document and just start typing down something—anything. It doesn’t even need to make sense it just needs to be there. Sometimes it’s just words that I find interesting and could facilitate with what the topic of my essay is about and other times it’s just random ideas. Then I open another document. In this document, I try to be more focused on the topic of my essay and how to find the right way to start it. This usually takes a lot of time so I always give myself a day to think of something and I also refer to the first document to see if anything will spark a more focused idea on how to begin my writing.
When I finally get that idea, I begin to write the introduction to my paper and as I’m doing this I usually stop and reread every word repeatedly to make sure it has the right flow. I usually don’t have a problem with writing the rest of my paper and I also try to limit myself to only using two word documents, but if I find myself using an additional word document this usually means that I’m confused and need to get help on how to structure my writing.
Writing of course can be a struggle for anyone, but it’s always comforting to have a finished product knowing that you went through the right process in getting that finished product.