Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How I Became a Writer: rough writing


In a previous post I talked about the Eastern Iowa Writing Project at Saint Ambrose University.  I learned so much in such a short time there. It changed how I thought about writing. It changed my thinking.

Rough writing (as I call it) was such a freeing concept.  I’d never thought of this as a legitimate way to write.  It’s similar to writing a rough draft (getting the words/ideas on paper and not thinking about grammar, spelling and punctuation) except  there’s no need to make a final polished copy. It can be called a stream of consciousness or internal monologue, if you like. Rough writing gave me the opportunity to think about myself, my experiences, and my writing style without the conventions and rules of writing getting in the way of my thought processes.

Given the freedom to ‘rough write’ is just that- freedom.  Freedom to create. Freedom to make mistakes.  Freedom to try new ideas.  During the EIWP we all shared some of our rough writing.  It was a liberating experience because every person in that class knew that no revisions had been made by the writer. When my fellow writers heard or read my work they took that into consideration (as I did their work.) BUT… when a writer has been working on a piece; thinking, revising, and everything else that goes into a polished piece of work; that’s when it gets scary. A writer (translate- me, Nadine) begins to over think, over analyze word choice and content, as well as deciding what to and what not to elaborate on ….THAT is when you really start second guessing yourself.  

In her book, Page After Page,Heather Sellers says, “Writing is hard. It takes so much willingness to be bad at something. It’s not fun to suck. And, if you are to write, suck you must.”



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