Essay on Writing Process

Sample Essay on Writing Process:

Anne Lamott and Donald M. Murray take their readers through their respective writing processes in Shitty First Drafts and The Maker’s Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscripts. In these works, the authors offer valuable insight and support to aspiring and professional writers.

I closely identify with Anne Lamott’s account of her writing process. The vivid imagery created by her playful yet dark humor reminds me of the frustration I experience when exercising my willpower as a writer. The piece, however, offers optimism and a sense of relief that I am not the only one bashing my head into the wall, experiencing severe writers block, and doubting my skills and competence as a writer. After reading the article over a couple of times, it is evident to me that my writing process is not as unorthodox as I had once believed it to be. It has made me more confident about my own shitty first drafts and has inspired me to grow my portfolio with more, even shittier first drafts as I grow older.

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Donald Murray’s article describes a more calculated and structured approach to writing and offers crucial details that Lamott’s piece does not. The information he has provided has caused me to reflect on the things that are missing in my own writing. First of all, I have realized that I can revise my work in multiple ways and that each writer has a style of revision that is most suitable for him or her. I believe that I should study myself and learn which of these methods of revision is most effective and preferable for me. I have also realized that although I consciously try to put substance in my work, there are many things that are invisible to the naked eye that can help create this substance. These elements, such as the suitability of the voice and form in my literature in relation to the subject at hand, should be considered in my writing process.

Donald Murray points out that a professional writer will include two things in his or her piece of literature in order to create an interesting read. These two things are information and meaning.

Murray explains that there is a distinct difference between these two terms even though they go hand in hand. He refers to information as something specific and accurate. This can include items such as facts, statistics, opinions, historical data, and proverbs, among others. Once the writer gathers a sufficient amount of information, it is possible to create enjoyable literature.

Information, however, is not enough on its own. In order to capture and hold a reader’s attention, this information must be packaged and structured in a logical and consistent manner. In other words, the information should not be abstract, irrelevant and disorganized and it should have some meaning. According to Murray, form, structure, audience, dimension and voice determine meaning. By considering these factors the writer should be able to promote his or her readers to recognize a pattern of some sort, which will help him or her to synthesize the information and create his or her own interpretation of what the writer means to say.

Murray states that a piece of literature is never complete by definition, but rather delivered due to deadlines and demand. I would agree with this statement, as I often find myself connecting the dots up to the very last minute. As I reflect on my own writing, I am almost certain that I could spend more time on crafting the meaning of my work and would like to believe that the information I include is mostly adequate. New technologies and the Internet have made it relatively simple to gather relevant information. This is why it is more important, in my opinion, for me to work on my ability to create meaning in my writing.

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