The Writing Process In Elbow An Approach To Writing

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As individuals that are rather fond of the concept of perfection, we tend to minimize the fact that it is simply a concept and maximize its actuality. As a result of this fault, we expect for things that require multiple tries to come out as perfect and the outcome often leads to disappointment. A great example of this would be the writing process--most people believe that great writing is the result of one being gifted. That a person can just wake up one evening and write their best work without any effort. This misconception often leads to individuals discouraged to write and create myths about the process of writing. Truthfully, writing requires a lot of efforts. Even the most experienced writers face difficulty with finding inspiration …show more content…
In “An Approach to Writing”, Elbow discusses the two processes which help facilitate good ideas. He acknowledges that “writing calls on the ability to create words and ideas out of you, but it also calls on the ability to criticize them in order to decide which ones to use”. He stresses the importance of getting one’s thought down but also criticizing them after. He says to “first write freely and uncritically so that you can generate as many words and ideas as possible without worrying whether they are good; then turn around and adopt a critical frame of mind thoroughly revise what you have written--taking what’s good and discarding what isn’t and shaping what’s left of something strong”. Mastering the two processes requires practice and dedication to improving one’s writing process. Elbow’s writing process includes a ritual by which he approaches and his experience in writing is evidence that this works for him. One has to be fully dedicated to finding what works best and what does …show more content…
I often struggle with what most people also struggle with--getting the ideas. My writing process is very similar to that of the authors’; I write my thoughts down, no matter how terrible, in a place that is very comforting for me (my bed) and then I proceed to criticize my work. I often read other articles provided by my professors or take the initiative and search for my own forms of inspiration. Anne Lamott, author of “Shitty First Drafts, writes “for me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts” In other words, Lamott receives her best work from writing drafts that at first are very terrible. The use of the word “shitty” is to draw emphasis on the flawed nature of the first draft. The first draft is “a child’s draft”, where it roams free, uncontrolled and imperfect. Her ritual then begins and she actively reads her first draft, critiquing all of the sentences and then a month later, she would proceed in the same

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