Everyone approaches writing in very different ways. And undoubtedly everyone has a favorite component of writing. It may be the brainstorming. Or the outlining. Or the actual writing itself. Or the editing. Or knowing that the assignment is done and the criteria met.
I asked my advanced writing students to discuss what it is about writing they find to be the best part. I know that some of my students detest writing wholeheartedly and cannot wait to exit the class and will never pick up another pen or compose another word at their keyboard. However, there is probably one teeny-tiny aspect that they detest less than the others, so I asked them to blog about that component.
For me, it’s the actual writing process. I refer to it as “puking on the page.” I stole that definition from Stephen King who probably poached it from someone else. Whatever its origin, free writing is my favorite part of writing. Mostly when I’m working on creative writing, I can lose myself for hours at a time. I’m always thrilled at how much I can put onto the page, how imaginative I can be and then take that story and construct it into something coherent and, hopefully, interesting. Business writing is sometimes a little harder for me to free-write because there are more constraints – such as outline, form, content and end goals – but I can still do it. I don’t enjoy it as much, but I can do it well. Especially when I’m working on a piece that requires explanation or support – like research or survey reports.
But it’s the creative writing where I can just let loose and allow the words to fall freely on the page, aligning into something that could be whimsical, sad, comedic, tragic or – yes I have to admit – even bad and boring that I end up deleting.
I’m interested to see what part of writing my students find the best and why. They’re all in different phases of life and education, and just like snowflakes each is uniquely different and they express themself with great enthusiasm and panache.
Another favorite part of writing is when I explain my writing style to someone, to see their reaction when I say “puking on the page.” Sometimes that’s just fun in itself.