The Writing Process

I’ve never had to write a written “reflection” on an essay I’m in the midst of creating. The process is significantly more difficult than I had expected. At the moment, I am working with two drafts of “How I Write” — from two different perspectives.

My first draft is generated through the standpoint of a narrative. It begins with a reflection — starting at the time I first heard the phrase “confidence and conviction,” which is now the premise of my writing.

The second draft has a more “formal” structure. With an introduction on my thought process as a writer, a thesis which is, “To become a successful writer I must do the following: take various perspectives (other than my own) into account, conceptualize my thoughts in a way that is orderly and concise, and articulate my ideas with confidence and conviction;” followed by three or four body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

It’s been easier for me to articulate my thoughts through the formal structure rather than a narrative. There are numerous ways to begin a narrative — especially if it’s about you. However, planning this particular reflection on myself (how “I” write) has me questioning myself: how do I know if I’m writing it “right”?

For starters, with the narrative, I’m having difficulty keeping my thoughts in the proper tense. Should it be in the past or the present?

“I planned to arrive at Weill Hall promptly at 5:15pm; 15 minutes before my first interview was scheduled for the Michigan Daily.” It was a crisp day in October of 2011, and things seemed to be going smoothly.”

How descriptive should I be before I dive into the “how I write” element?

To write a narrative, or not to write a narrative, that is the question… At this point, it’s early in the minor. I think I’m going to structure my essay in a way that “mounts an argument” and builds from a thesis to a conclusion.

2 thoughts to “The Writing Process”

  1. I completely agree with the difficulty of composing the essay in a story format. I was/still am having trouble narrowing down such a large and abstract concept. Writing the essay by expanding upon a thesis might be something I should try to narrow down my ideas! I also really like your “confidence and conviction” statement – this is so true and something I strive for in my writing as well.

    Good luck!

  2. I too am having some of the same difficulties. Having the freedom to write this however we want to is nice, but it can be a little burdensome. I think that either a narrative or formal structure would work for this assignment. One suggestion would be to possibly blend the two forms. Maybe if you opened the piece with a vignette lead and then follow that up with that thesis paragraph. I think this would be interesting and also reflective on the influence journalism has on your writing. The opening narrative would serve as the catchy lede, and the thesis type paragraph would be like the nut graf. The basis of your paper can still be the thesis, but you can use narrative throughout the paper to help mount your argument.

Leave a Reply