My writing has to be perfect, it can’t have any errors, it must please my specific audience, it has to give the reader goosebumps, yet I should be writing for myself. At the beginning of this writing class, I was fed many ideas of what it takes to be a good writer.
Being very overwhelmed with my writing, I was starting to resent writing assignments. I was being told to think deeply and evaluate my inner self. I understand that it’s good to do this, yet I wasn’t comfortable putting it in written form. The process of writing is tough, because there is a lot of reflection, and a whole lot of revision. The Nature essay in particular was difficult for me, as there was much of both required.
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Sit down in the woods for two hours and just write. Reflect on your thoughts. It seems like a simple concept. However, I will admit, it is much easier said than done. A million thoughts floated through my head, yet none at all. So I just began to write.
The beginning of my own personal writing process is simple. My mind often works faster than my pencil, so I just get my ideas down on paper. To get ideas for my writing, I try to think of my past and ways I can relate to what I’m focusing on. It’s easier to write about things from long ago, since I’ve had such a long time to ponder over the events. Once I’ve got all my thoughts on paper, the real work begins.
Sitting in a forest, my mind began to wander. There were many unfiltered thoughts in my head and on paper, so I had to remove a lot for my essay. Once I rid of the junk, I focus on expanding my main ideas and relating to them. This is an especially difficult process for me, because this is where the paper gets organized and formally put together. Now, just because a sentence makes sense to you, doesn’t mean everyone else will understand too. I always know what I’m talking about, but apparently I’m not always as clear as I think.
While the whole process is long and grueling, I often come out with a product of decent quality at the end. But still, at the end of the day, I’m never quite satisfied. I’ve made a lot of discoveries about myself through taking this class. I’ve learned that as a writer, I’m less cautious to share my opinion. People are more likely to argue something you say, rather than write.
When I write, I have more time to sort out my thoughts and say what I really mean. I say a lot of things I regret saying, but with writing, that isn’t the case. I only write about things that are important to me. For example, in the nature essay, I was able to reflect it about myself and how I’ve grown. I wasn’t about to write some hogwash story about a hunting or camping experience. My writing has to mean something to me in order for it to be good.
As I grow and mature, my writing reflects it. Earlier in my life, and even earlier this year, I thought I had done some great work. I had papers I was really excited about, but then I got my grade back. At this point I was frustrated. I thought I had to write for the teacher, and just give her what she wanted.
Although my grade improved by this method, I was still not satisfied. Now I’ve discovered, that when I write for myself, still based on the guidelines of the teacher, the result is a rewarding feeling and grade to show for it. I’ll be happy with it for now, but still never satisfied.