Chapter 1: Rewrite

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"Writing Does Not Come Easily-For Anyone (16)"  

I may be cheating for this blog entry, but I think an excerpt from my self-evaluation after Dr. Arnzen's class last year still says exactly how I feel about this quote.  Perhaps it's not "cheating."  It's been several months since I read this piece and there were quite a few errors that I fixed before I blogged it.  Actually, I change my mind.  This is a piece that I wrote earlier, but I revised.  A work of writing is never really "done."  I think there is always room for improvement and rewrites.  Oh, hey, this quote covers it, "They reconsider their ideas and try to restate them, discard some details, add others, chop paragraphs in half and reassemble them, the parts elsewhere, throw out much (and then maybe recover some of it), revise or completely rewrite sentences, change words, correct misspellings, sharpen expressions, and add new material to tie all the parts together in a smooth, natural flow (16)."

 Self Evaluation: Spring Semester 2009

"I am not going to sit here and tell you that I took this class because I always dreamed of being a writer.  I never spent hours of my youth writing fan fiction or reading tattered copies of Hamlet for fun.  I wrote angsty poetry when I was thirteen, a couple of award-winning essays (always for the $300.00 award), and a witty "children's" opossum porn during my senior year of high school.  I always kept everything I wrote.  It was as sacred to me as my family photo album, but that was more or less because everything I wrote was work.  It's not easy for me to write.  I feel stress and anxiety over writing assignments, and I do not foresee these feelings going away anytime soon.  Still, I get some kind of a thrill out of finishing an assignment.  Writing a paper is like bungee jumping and waiting for criticism is the part where I hope I land without pissing my pants. 

Lemire's comparison between the English major and boot camp were completely accurate.  Weekends before our journal entries were due; I would compare "assignments" with my military friends.  I remember one text conversation in particular; DJ wrote, "Hey how's your weekend?"

I said, "About 20 pages of writing due Monday, you?"

He responded, "I have to run six miles tomorrow."

I said, "Ha!  That sucks..."

DJ replied, "I'd take the six miles over twenty pages any day."

I am learning that when you are an English major, twenty pages is nothing to whine about.  It's a power write session with a couple cups of coffee and Pandora radio.  I am still not there yet, but I hope to be someday.

It is not difficult to see how my writing and critical thinking skills have improved since my first writing assignment in Seminar in Thinking and Writing.  I barely knew how to write a thesis statement during my first semester of college.  Now, I have a black binder stuffed with a prolific amount of writing compared to anything I have done in the past.  It may be riddled with errors, but even so, it is obvious to me that I have made huge improvements in learning how to communicate clearly and effectively.  I am also able to reread my work a few days after I have written it and correct many of my own mistakes.  I struggle against passive voice, but it is a battle I will conquer in time.  I also think nothing you write is ever finished.  There is always room for improvement, and even though it is difficult to delete the "perfect witty sentence" because the rest of the world thinks it cheesy, I understand that it is necessary to improve my writing."

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