Personal Inquiry: The AMA About Writing

When it comes to writing essays and the drafting process, I don’t particularly follow the rules provided–I tend to edit while writing and I neglect drafting. I have never been able to grow accustomed to such practices. Drafts are like the husks of the reanimated dead, the molts of the final essay (not actually, but to me they do have similarities). If I sense even a whisper of incorrect spelling or grammar I “nip it in the bud,” as Barney Fife would. The ideas are seemingly a distraction, and so I generally only make two drafts of any paper. Many may view this as a sin or me as an abomination and unworthy of being dubbed a writer; however, I find that having six or ten drafts is excessive, and that the works could not be more perfectly boring because they have had too much editing and revision.

My two drafts typically involve the first being like a final paper, fleshed out and grammatically correct. I defer to any one or six of my peers for their feedback and criticism, and then incorporate their suggestions as best I can into the final draft. This might be termed as “lazy,” yet I would call it “efficient;” I prefer skipping the planning and first two drafts, and getting to the penultimate draft simply because the planning and first draft are extremely foreign to me. I feel it is a waste of time to plan out the essay when the ideas are going to be rewritten and replaced regardless of who came up with the ideas or where they came from in the first place. I am just not comfortable with drafting, and I find it a hassle to hand-write a flowchart of the ideas to be touched upon and the common theme–I would much rather wing it and then revise as I create new ideas (in the same way the Constitution of the United States of America is constantly revised to adapt to new amendments).

Setting is crucial to writing, as well. I have never been a morning writer, or an afternoon writer. I write best at night, when my mind has had a good beating for the day. It’s like using a muscle to lift something heavy just once, then suddenly light objects seem even lighter. I prefer my office chair under me, a leg crossed out of habit, my laptop with a second monitor on my glass desktop. Something about the office theme really drives me to write and do any work at this desk. I took extra precautions to ensure I would be able to write my first core essay in such optimal conditions. I sat down to write at nine p.m. and ended my session at three in the morning. I constantly corrected spelling, reworded sentences, cut some and added others, read and reread through each paragraph as it was written. It was ironically stress-free. The essay took me about three of these sessions to finish due to the meticulous editing, and even though my score was only in the eightieth percentile, I was and still am proud of writing as much as I did.

I believe there is always room for improvement in a writer’s life. Questions should always be asked and answers should always be given. For example, I might ask myself why I chose such a conversational “thought process” form of writing; or why I had waited until I was attending college courses to start writing as if I actually enjoy it (which I do). I might also question my habits, why I write and edit simultaneously, why I cannot let a misspelled word slip through the punctuation. One could even go so far as to ask me a question themselves, such as if I feel my style might not be effective enough.

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