This post is in response to Salted Caramel’s Blogging Insights 3.0 – 2; which contains questions about the writing and drafting process when blogging.
I hope you will enjoy my responses to drtanya’s questions.
Do you write directly on a device? Are you old school, do you write on paper first?
I’m old school.
I write out my first draft with pen and paper. If my post is straightforward and short, then I can (and do) type it directly onto a device – particularly when I’m travelling as it can be effective to input directly onto WP via my smartphone, but my preference would always be pen and paper.
Although I’m writing this out longhand, sitting on the train on my morning commute, coffee in hand, I believe this is something I could type directly onto my blog as I’m answering factual questions that I find fairly easy to answer. However, when I’m writing longer, more compex posts – for example when I’m writing something about academic practice or a piece that requires research, I will draft it out in “long hand”.
I find it easier to edit with work in front of me, rather than working on a screen, so i’ve seen me print off typed up work for editing. I am sure that I will also edit this as I transfer it to my blog.
Personally, for me, writing by hand is therapeutic, calming and it allows me to be more creative. Writing old school allows me to ponder my work, developing ideas as the words flow. I find the whole process reflective and cathartic.
Maybe it comes from 10-15 years in an earlier career as a legal secretary, typing is just a functional process done quickly (its also why I hate listening to music using earbuds). I do register what I type and can recognise errors but I believe that I type too quickly to engage in the reflective and creative processes that take place when I write old school.
Do I redraft? If so, how many times?
As above, it depends. Typically, if it gets typed directly onto the blog, its usually a case of proof reading and some minor editing but I don’t end up with second or third drafts.
If I’m handwriting a post (or even teaching materials) it depends how clear my ideas are and how good an idea I have to start with. I can write some pieces that just need typed and tiedied up – others it can be 3, 4 or more redrafts.
I find when I need to redraft multiple times its usually the beginning that requires to be rewritten – starting over and over but once I have a clear idea of the message I want to get across, the rest of the work comes together much easier.
What I find interesting is that I can’t predict what will flow well and where the challenges will be. Maybe its also linked to being a perfectionist – that I want to get things right, but at times I think I’ve a clear idea in my head, I write out my plan but its just not working on paper. I’m just glad I’m comfortable scrunching up paper, throwing it in the bin and starting over. I don’t see it as failure, and I know from working with many students over the years that some people find it hard to let go, but its the only way to move forward and produce the work you’re destined to create.
@Tanya – thanks for the prompt. Its always interesting to see and learn how others approach the writing process.
Like Tanya, I’d like to hear about others’ experiences. What’s your writing procedure. How has your style developed over time?
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