Trust the Process

I’m finding it ironic that as I think about what I want to write for my “Why I Write” paper, I can’t think of what to write. Pretty typical of me though. Procrastination, writers block, more procrastination, “a shitty first draft,” some editing, some sleep, then some more last minute editing—I’m realizing these are all stages of the process. Or more specifically, stages of my specific process of writing a paper. Right now I’m finding that I am on stage two of my typical writing process—writers block.

To help with my situation, I figured instead of stopping writing- I would keep writing—just switch to a different prompt. So here I am. Writing about my progress on Why I Write. This is harder than expected too as I have never been asked to keep updates on how my writing process is going. So here it goes.

 

My initial thoughts to this assignment were “wow this will be so easy I love writing.” Yet now as I am in the process, I am not so sure how to put into words why I write. I usually write for a purpose, for an assignment, or as a communications mechanism, but I know that I write for a deeper reason too. Here’s where the block comes in. I know that one of my favorite parts of writing comes in after I am done writing something; I love the feeling of completion, complete satisfaction and accomplishment that comes from completing a piece of writing I am proud of. Or when I look back on old works, and how long and thought out they are, and find a sense of pride in my work. But that is after I do the physical act of writing so does that count to why I write? Block.

 

Not to jump all over the place, but another part of this assignment I am struggling with is the structure-less nature of it. In actuality, I love it, but it is causing me not to know where to begin. Where as in the past, I have been used to writing usually out of coercion for a class assignment, I am so used to having a strict rubric to follow, a specific prompt to outline from, and precise research and quotes to use throughout. I am starting to hate that this format of writing has been engrained in my brain as “the right way” or “the standard way.” Writing is not about following a rubric, or specific format, or some kind of technique. Writing is not a science or a math, where you use equations to fill in where to quote something, or a method where you must use a five-paragraph essay with an intro, conclusion, and three supporting body paragraphs. Writing is not supposed to be filled with restrictions like not using “I” or run on sentences.

So now I guess this is why I have come to the realization that this is why I write—because writing can be whatever you want it to be—an assignment or a means of communications—but also a place of expression, a place of freedom, and a place of solace. I write for all of the above.

 

2 thoughts to “Trust the Process”

  1. Abby,

    I am completely on the same page with everything you just said. I too suffer from the inevitable block that comes when I sit down to start a paper. Procrastination seems to creep up on me no matter how hard I try to focus. I am also having similar feelings about not really knowing where to start with this assignment. We are so used to having a structured rubric and guidelines to follow when we write an essay, so having no structure whatsoever is throwing me off! Maybe if we just keep writing, eventually something good will appear….

  2. “But that is after I do the physical act of writing so does that count to why I write?”

    I would say, absolutely! I like what you’re getting at here–namely, that writing is in reality so much broader than its name taken literally may suggest. In the same way, the reasons why we write should not be limited to this narrow definition. Personally, I’m in agreement with you that the “reading stage”–that is, reading your work after you’re finally done–is the most enjoyable part of the writing process. Like you, I feel that the writing itself can be tedious and frustrating. However, once completed, the burden of work put into it pales in comparison with the satisfaction of seeing–or in this case, reading–the fruits of one’s labor.

    Best wishes for the continued development of your essay.

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