Monday, September 17, 2018

Writing As Process

Close up of drawn apples with numbers and letters in the center.
The Kindergartener has colored some in with  different colors
and drawn a frame around them in yellow. 

Our Kindergartener is learning how to write letters by first learning to control his marks on paper. There are coloring and tracing exercises. Sometimes he writes uppercase and lowercase letters. The focus is on practicing and learning through repetition and approaching the material from different angles. I don't think anyone is telling him he's done something wrong, only to continue on and try his best. The focus is on the writing process rather than the outcome. Watching him play with crayons, markers and pencils on blank paper and worksheets reminds me of how artists create.

A focus on process is a good approach to take when you draft a new piece of writing or even edit something you've gone over many times. By lessening the importance of the final product, you might learn something new by looking at it differently. Try rewriting a piece in the second person or the first person if you wrote it in the third person. Change the tense to the past tense if you started in the present tense. Maybe you could try to take someone else's point of view. These exercises, whether they end up in the final piece or not, are all a part of the writing process.

No writer becomes famous if their work remains unpublished. There are good reasons to prize final drafts. But we should also prize how we arrived at that final draft. The active process of writing, revising, renewing and reviewing our work is a part of the final process, even if it is invisible to a reader.

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