"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.” -Vladimir Nabakov
Although I have always loved to write, it takes a long time and a lot of frustration for me to write what I mean to say. I have always found it difficult to get what’s in my head onto paper. I always wish that I could just write down my thoughts without thinking, but I am unable to do that because I am always worried about making my sentences perfect. I usually sit with my laptop or papers, ready to write my essay, but for some reason I can never get my words out. To get to the point of where my words come out into my writing freely, I go through a whole process of brainstorming and outlining. I then continue using my usual process of how I write an essay.
I begin my essay by planning out what I want to say in it. In order for me to gather all my ideas and organize them in a way that makes my essay flow, I create a list of what I want to say in each paragraph. I only write a short sentence for each bullet point, and then I move them around in an order that makes sense. Some people write detailed outlines with all of their commentary in it, but I like to keep it short and then expand on what I have. This way, I know what I want to say in each paragraph and then the words come out of my mind easily. If I tried any other way then I would be sitting in front of the computer deciding how to word each sentence, which would take me a very long time.
After I have a list of what I want to include in my paper, I begin with my introduction. Some people write their introduction after they have completed their body paragraphs, but I find it easier to just have the introduction written so that I can write my essay as I go. For me, the introduction of an essay is the most difficult paragraph to write and it takes the longest time. Even though I always have my paragraphs planned out before I start writing my introduction, I never know what I want to say in it. I sit there for a long time in front of my computer, hoping that I will get an idea of what to say to start off my essay. I become very aggravated when I can’t think of what to say.
When writing an essay, I tend to get distracted quite a bit. This is the biggest challenge for me during my writing process. Distractions add to the reasons why it takes me so long to begin writing words out. If my mind strays for just a moment, I find myself unintentionally picking up my cell phone. Once I get distracted, I am likely to stay on twitter or continue texting for hours. I always hear people say that music really helps them stay in focus, but for me it does the opposite. Even if the music is on low volume and is really relaxing and calm, I lose focus. Any little sound can distract me. For example, if my brother is jumping around in the room next to mine, I try to ignore it and continue writing, but I usually end up going over to him and yelling at him to stop. I need to be in complete concentration if I am to ever get any good sentences onto paper.
Although I get distracted a lot while writing, once I do start to write and I know what I want to say, the words flow out of my mind and I start typing away. To me, the best feeling is not when I have completed an essay, but when I have a steady pace of writing down my ideas. Once I really get into my writing, I just keep writing whatever comes into my mind. Then, when my essay is finally done, I go back and edit it. I sometimes have to change whole paragraphs or even take out sentences here and there, but compared to writing the essay, the revising doesn’t take me too long.
Once I have finished writing and revising my work, I think back to when I had just started to write that essay. It really amazes me that, although I didn’t know how to say what I wanted at first, I eventually got everything out of my mind and into my essay. It really is like the words are all there, just waiting for me to figure out how to make them visible.