The start of the writing process is time consuming and difficult for most writers, and I am no exception to that. Staring at a blank page or a clock trying to think of how to start a paper of any kind is mentally deteriorating. Luckily for me, I came to find my own writing process that saves me much (but not all) of the stress and eye soreness that comes with writer’s block.
When given a prompt and a deadline, I plan an outline for the work so that Sunday night is not filled with caffeine and self-hatred. I immediately think of essential ideas that are paramount to the prompt. The most important part of any paper, email, application, etc. . . is the body paragraphs. A writer can have a great introduction, and draw all the readers in the world, only to lose all of their interests’ by the time they realize the work has no literature value. Similarly, an effective conclusion is only useful when the audience actually reads to that point. Thus, I set aside roughly 50% of the time I invest in the paper scribbling down these ideas and creating an outline. Once I know what I want to write, putting all the bullet points together comes naturally. It is easy for me to connect the basic points because they all came from the same place. The end of the first and last paragraph restate the main ideas, but the first and last few sentences of the paper, albeit not as important, can be frustrating to think of. Sometimes, like this blog post, the moment I start to type I have an idea of what to say. But most of the time, I am dumbfounded on how hard it can be to just start or end a paper. When I feel helpless, I turn to others for help. Often I find that I can become inspired off of simple output by my friends and family.
My writing process is far from perfect, but it’s me, and one way or another I achieve my goal of being in bed early with satisfaction and a closed laptop.