Anna Schultz-Hands On Laptop

My Writing Process // Why It’s So Hard to Write For School

I love writing! Unfortunately, it is not mutual love, especially when I write for college or school. When teachers give me the topic to discuss in my paper, they chain me because I cannot write about something that is not interesting to me. At this point, my muse, who is supposed to help me, packs her stuff and goes on a trip somewhere else, taking all my thoughts and ideas. I am not mad at her, but I would like to receive at least one souvenir from her multiple trips. Without her, my writing process is chaos; it does not have a specific order or some logical system. That’s why it is so hard to describe how this process occurs, but I’ll try.

Firstly, I accept the fatality of my situation and start to look for a place where people will not bother me; it can be my living room, a classroom, the library or even the seemingly clean floor of the hallway. This place should be calm and without any acquaintances, and only then will I be able to focus on my paper. After finding the desired spot, and spending some time to make it comfortable, I open my laptop. I use it because that way I don’t waste paper and can easily delete everything after realizing that the essay which seemed to be as great as a Stephen King story can, in reality, only compete with a kindergartener's written assignments. 

I spend most of my time thinking about the topic and what I want to say. It is the hardest part for me because, without an idea, I am unable to compose a single sentence. So I just sit and think...or pretend to think. It is necessary for me to create the whole picture before crafting my paper, so making a working thesis is an important part of my writing process. If I form my thesis, I can finally begin my draft. Otherwise, I free-write until I get an idea of how my paper will develop. If the paper has to be long, I use an outline to rearrange my thoughts. It helps me to visualize what I have in mind and generally understand what examples and evidence I should use. 

Eventually, I start my essay. This is my favorite part because I do not have to think while I do this; I just put my thoughts on paper. This can take numerous hours until I run out of both enthusiasm and vocabulary. Subsequently, I take a break because it is difficult to evaluate the essay right after finishing it (at least, this is my excuse for taking a break from productivity and returning to procrastination). I clear my head to see the mistakes I most likely made. Eventually, I look at my paper again and try to calm myself, thinking “it could be worse.” After rechecking the essay numerous times, I turn it in, hoping that my teacher has a sense of humor that will persuade her my essay is not actually that bad.