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For the last five years I’ve been writing everyday, and over that period have evolved from a sometime poet and blogger to a full-time professional writer. This blog is a short reflection on my writing practice and the art form I’ve come to love and call my own.
This is the first time I’ve actually written down what I’m writing down. Let’s go through each item (and also note I am not an academic writer):
When I have time I also like to write songs, chants, and verses. Then of course there are shopping lists, success lists, unpublished creative writing projects and online courses, emails to family and friends. Writing prompts from writer’s groups. Assignments from the 2-3 writing course I take each year. Oh and let’s not forget the odd Facebook rant.
After finishing that list (above) — wow, I really do write a lot. I know it seems strange but I hadn’t really thought about it before. It all just seems like an ordinary part of my day. I do love writing, and (for me) the most enjoyable part is the editing process.
When I review what I’ve written (and as I’m making corrections) I feel almost astonished at the words on the screen or page. It’s not that I’m like some trendy fashion model marvelling at a gorgeous image, but every single time it amazes me that the words came — and I have this piece of finished work to give to my client. Or publish to my blog.
The writing I dread is the stuff where I don’t know much about the subject and have to do a lot of research. I always feel like a bit of an imposter and get frustrated when I’m less than a paragraph in and realise I have to contact the client for more information (or do more background reading).
There are two things I want to improve about my writing:
After narrating all that out I’m feeling a bit chuffed about the quantity of writing I’m producing. It’s actually a whole lot more than I realised. But I still feel my writing practice is choppy. I want steady, consistent output rather than big writing blocks followed by days of distraction.
Overall the vision for my writing practice is to allow myself to write a whole piece without getting up, then following with another piece. Once this raw work is done I can be more efficient with editing. Ultimately it will produce better finished material, and more of it.
This blog was written and submitted as an assignment in the BerkleyX online course Academic and Business Writing which I am completing through edX.org. The course requires you to journal each week using your preferred medium — blog, handwritten diary, Word document. Naturally I chose the blog.
As a journalist, long ago, I often wrote “a whole piece without getting up”, in fact usually several pieces. It was necessary, there rarely being time to do otherwise. Also, there was rarely time to edit so I was used to editing in my head as I was writing, as I still do most of the time.
I love doing the research when necessary. That probably comes from starting my life as a research scientist and being insatiably curious.
At one time I wrote quite a few ‘haiku’ with a photo but rather than one illustrating the other the two were conceived together.