Blog #4 How do we write ?

“I have to pound away at rock with a chisel and dig out a deep hole before I can locate the source of my creativity “ – Haruki Murakami

 

The quote above from Murakami’s “The Running Novelist” not only perfectly describes my process of writing but describes my process of everything. I have been an student athlete for 9 years.  I was not blessed with natural athletic abilities, I worked hard for them. I wasn’t tall enough to be my club volleyball coaches first choice for outside hitter. BUT I showed them I could jump higher then the girls who played that position. I knew nothing about basketball but I could outrun any girl on the court. I played aggressive defense ( had fouled out of many games) and was never afraid to box out a girl twice my size When I re entered the competitive swimming world in high school I never imagined I would get a scholarship to swim club and qualify for age group JO’s in our region (Junior Olympics). All of this was hard work, pounding away the doubts of others. Writing and school required the same amount of hard work. I don’t have photographic memory, I need to read and re read and read things again to learn them. My writing process requires me to start at least two weeks before the assignments is due. I need to wake up early get some coffee in my system and then get another coffee to have next to me when i start the writing process. The first thing I do is pick a quote that; stands out to me ,that I can apply to my entire essay, and use to wrap up my essay. I want the quote to be like a big bow, and my essay the gift. Picking the/a quote takes longer than I like. If i can pick the right quote i feel pretty confident about my paper. When I get the assignment I like to break it down. The requirements in terms of points you need to hit and length especially can be pretty intimidating when starting to write. So I take about 5 or 6 loose leaf papers. I title them Intro, body 1, body 2, body 3, and conclusion. I treat each one as its own mini assignment that I can string together and revise later. Instead of just sitting down at my laptop staring at a blank google doc, i prefer to do this and write my ideas  my hand. Sometimes they are full sentences but they are usually bullets of important facts, evidence, analysis, or my interpretation of a reading or event, why it matters, and how it relates to my quote (which usually conveys the theme/ thesis/ purpose i am trying to emphasize). When i get stuck i get up, do some cleaning, maybe work an another assignment just to clear my head. After I get a good amount of content on each loose leaf i piece them together Sometimes I reorganize them switch around the body paragraphs and I end up with Intro, body 3, body 1, body 2, and then conclusion. My drafting process begins and I usually try to write 2 rough drafts and revise them before turning in my best possible draft. I am not someone who can crank out a paper in a night. I have had friends tell me that my process is a lot of unnecessary hard work. But, in order for me to feel confident about writing i need to put in this unnecessary hard work to chisel and dig out my best possible draft.

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