Writing stratagies

The tutor introduced us to Peter Elbow and free writing.

We had to write for ten minutes without stopping – if nothing came to mind then that was recorded until a new train of thought emerged. This was not list making or brainstorming but it was most important that whole sentences were written. However there was no correction of spelling, grammar or crossings out.

This is a good method when stuck with writing an essay, to get started in the first place!

I started with the ‘My experience of essay writing.’ Just over half way I wandered off the topic – wondering how much longer I had to write – that I was hungry. Failure to concentrate for very long!

‘Editing, in itself, is not the problem. Editing is usually necessary if we want to end up  with something satisfactory. The problem is that editing goes on at the same time as  producing. . . .’

This is exactly what I do – write every sentence which must be correct before I move onto the next. I think I’ll change tactic – write my essay by simply putting down all I wish to say then editing it.

‘The habit of compulsive, premature editing doesn’t just make writing hard. It also makes writing dead. Your voice is damped out by all the interruptions, changes, and hesitations between the consciousness and the page.’

He suggests to ‘plunge in’ with the writing – to go against the advice to plan it in your head first of all – just get ideas down onto the page – will give it a go.

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