Learning From Failure
Keeping a journal that
records your personal writing experiences - successes and failures-
may be very insightful.
Making A Mess
Often the best
writing comes from chaos. You should give yourself permission to
ramble in early drafts in order to discover what you wish to say.
Creating And Criticizing
Free write to generate
Become critical, logical,
or negative as you review what you've written, not hesitating to shape
or discard material.
Sowing Early Seeds
waiting for a bolt of creative lightning, try writing down ideas in
short intervals--fifteen minutes or so. Do this frequently before
attempting a draft.
a perfect stream of consciousness. It is private writing and may or
may not be lucid and organized. Anything goes. Freewriting is writing
It invites surprise. You
often discover things you didn't know you thought or felt. The deepest
insights often come after ten or fifteen minutes when many of us
think we've run out of things to say. Generate a lot of ideas to allow
you to keep only the best ones for the finished draft.
should have a range of audiences, including listeners who understand
and are sympathetic with your struggle. Writers should not be confined
to "authority readers" or critics. Peer readers bring pleasure into
writing. Writing can be shared as a gift and does not always require a
response. Most "real world" writing solicits no feedback and often
gets none. Ally readers help separate the writing from the writer.
There may be response to questions such as "What do you hear me
saying?" or "What do you think?" but no evaluations are necessary.
Writers may feel comfortable to take risks that may ultimately improve
Use your own voice as much
as possible, for it has power, control, and courage. When confined to
writing in the third person -- in writing that must not be "polluted
by a subjective voice" or "as if it were God talking"-- you may find
this requirement too constraining. Write first in your natural voices
and then revise for formality.
should be your last concern. Because mistakes distract readers and
affect your credibility regardless of your level of thinking, be
diligent in cleaning up the mistakes in formal writing. Use whatever
resources are available, including Spell Check or Grammar Check that
may be available in your word-processing program.