For me (and several other individuals), there are three different methods of writing.
One of them involves just writing from the top of my head, non-stop, pounding of the keyboard. This is akin to brainstorming and requires to just hammer out anything that is lodged in your brain. I’m not too much of a fan of this type of writing. Some websites like 750 Words encourage this as a way to liberate your mind in the morning and get your creative juices flowing. This can work for me from time to time but on a consistent basis, it becomes somewhat of a forced nuisance. Don’t get me wrong though, I have produced some fantastic work with this method but it definitely not my primary method. For me, order is what makes writing brilliant.
The second one involves having a particular focus or topic in mind but with my knowledge being the dependent source in my mind. This type of style just requires me to bring the focus of the writing to the foreground of my mind and then use the relevant information that I have drawn up from my knowledge bank to help the writing move forward. I usually embrace this type of writing method for items like my tumblr posts or anything in conjunction to brainstorming.
Then, the third method utilizes primary sources, secondary sources, a greater focus, and a stronger educational background. This one requires to pass certain stringent tests of organization, clarity, substance, and meaning. Unfortunately, articles of writing that involve this are not really my forte. Take research papers for example. I have to involve layers and layers of congressional oversight and red tape in my head in order to ensure that what I am presenting is to my teacher or professor’s liking.
The third method is where my head decides to often lock up and keep me inside of myself, dragging on and on. I can never seem to grapple with myself on how to actually work with this type of essay. It always seems daunting, time consuming, and with no beneficial end in sight. However, visualization, at least from what I just learned, is absolutely key in succeeding with this type of paper.
In my head, it’s easier to think out an idea than to write it, erase it, write it again, spit on it, write on it against, another cross out. Not only is that time consuming but it hurts me internally for how atrocious my writing can be. However, if I visualize exactly what I expect from a particular paragraph, say the introduction, for some reason, mapping out the actually thoughts to my expectation become an easier breeze.
Struggling for the last 16 hours on how to hammer out his paper, after sleeping for three hours in the morning, I managed to hammer out one introduction paragraph easily due to the employment of this visualization technique. The key to writing great papers is having a vision on what you are actually going to write.
Not only does this eliminate the need-to-come-up-with-inspiration-now demand in your mind, you also eliminate that daunting feeling that the paper is too much to handle on first take. Of course you cannot attack a paper on first take, it will REQUIRE multiple revisions over and over again.
However, the initial firepower can be easily attained through visualization. Killing the procrastination is easy when you can visualize the end of your paper just by lying down. Since you are already doing that in your attempt to avoid a paper, you can merely switch your thought process into something more active with visualization and once you have that going, you can just jump up and write it down, easily, no questions asked.
At least one thing I learned about this entire analysis of my mental process is that I can always be writing a paper everywhere I go with my brain. Writing a paper is not a stagnant process that is done in one setting but is an active imaginative process that requires a lot of planning, a lot of organization, and a lot of red tape to get just right. But remember, most of that, if not all, is just mental. And mental thought process isn’t strenuous or time consuming unlike staring at a distracting computer that can really divert you from your original intention.
From now on, all my papers will require a thought outline as well. This is critical to my success and will be my only method to success at least from what I can for see. Organizing these bubbling and brewing thoughts will help me to at least sit back in comfort while being able to utilize those extensive train rides and bike rides to process everything compounding in my head.
It’s like a eureka! moment for me right now, even if this may seem obvious. I always wanted a process to establishing great writing and to put that into perspective, it goes like this (at least for method three):
- Get your topic and organize the requirements.
- Fire up Google and do the research you need to do. If you need to go to a library for those odd topics, go ahead and get your information well in advance.
- Sit down and immediately flesh out a written outline and mix in the quotes from your research.
- Visualize baby! Start thinking about exactly how the paragraph is being written in your head for each section. (e.g. the Introduction of your essay will be about this, this, and this and it will conclude with this thesis. Since it sounds compelling in your head, you got it, now all you need is the next step).
- Hammer down the sentences and don’t stop because of sources! You do not need to write out the sources or any transitions or anything tweakish. Tweaking is for later!
- Sleep for about an hour or two or wake up the following day and then look at what you wrote, feel repulsed, and start editing your work like it is a nightmarish College entrance essay. This is natural for you. Physical print out copies and red pens are usually really helpful in this situation.
- Do a review on your computer and a print out review.
- Final check of filling out requirements including works cited and all your sources.
This process will take at least a week which is the time frame that most professors and teachers allocate. Brainstorming and choosing a topic for at least an hour, followed by another hour to hammer out an outline. The thought process and visualization of the paragraphs should be done over the course of a day although it can be done in an hour. Then hammer out the draft at 3 pages/half hour. Revision and finalizing takes another hour or two. Simple eh?
In addition, your professors are probably trying to integrate this into the lesson framework in beginner classes. Take advantage of that time because you don’t need a quiet room with the sound of dust growing on books echoing in your ear drum. All you really need is a thought engine running in your head and appropriate utilization of your time.
What’s really important is that you don’t feel daunted by a paper because of it’s sheer size or the complexity of a particular topic. Papers need to be completed in stages and avoiding even one stage can make you feel overwhelmed. A lot of it is a mental process. But you got this!
Wow, I actually think I could finish both of these papers now! Quite the relief really.