Wednesday, April 6, 2016

5 Steps to Help You Enjoy the Writing Process

As students, sometimes we get an assignment that looks like just another hurdle. But, we aren't doing ourselves any real favors if we don't take every opportunity to learn. One of my favorite creative writers, Neil Gaiman, once gave a commencement speech where he encouraged everyone to go out and "Make good art." You may not see your academic essays as art, but there is no reason you can't approach an assignment with the same fervor (and anxiety) of an artist approaching a blank canvas. Here are ten 5 tips to help you enjoy your writing process.

1) Pick a Topic You Enjoy

What's in it for you?--the struggle of finding a topic and laying words to paper; the struggle of gathering research and deploying it effectively. Sometimes we forget to enjoy the process.

2) Start early! Why panic if you don't have to?

If you want to find more joy in the writing process, I highly recommend starting early. And if you begin to feel burnt out, take a step back and remember what drove you to pick your topic to begin with. Starting early will allow you to take breaks when you need to, and honestly, when you have to.

3) What's your point? Keep it in mind! 
As you craft your essay, think about what your overall point is and what the current paragraph can do to support it.

4) Do your source-searching before you start

I often locate my sources before I even start writing; I find it helpful to think about my point and engage with my ideas via reading before I write them down. Check out our previous article on rotten sources to get an idea of what to avoid as you prepare to write your essay!

5) What is your end goal for this essay? Publication? Working towards a bigger project?
 An essay or paper doesn't have to be something that just sits on your desktop as a hallmark of what you completed in a course; it can be the result of a process that engages you with a topic and showcases your ability to communicate your passion.

Hopefully these help you wrap up your semester papers! Keep writing, and keep learning; enjoy the process.