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What Type of Writer Are You?

What Type of Writer Are You?

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Published by Scott McAnaul

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Published by: Scott McAnaul on Feb 03, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Are You Really Who You Thought You Were?By: Scott McAnaul
What type of writer are you? Are you a one draft, or a multi draft writer? Do yousit down and write one draft and that is what you turn in, or do you write multiple draftsand then choose which one you like best? Most of us, including myself are probablysomewhere in the middle. I am going to take you into my mind for a day and run youthrough the processes that I go through to get the best writing out of me.Whenever a paper is assigned, I immediately begin thinking about what directionI want to take the paper. Do I want to challenge a point, or do I want to tell a story? Imake hundreds of decisions in my head before I ever even turn on my computer. First ofI have to get in the right state of mind. If I can’t think about the topic I am writing aboutclearly, then I will go do something else. If I begin my writing without the right state of mind, my paper will go in the completely opposite direction of what I intended it to. Ihave to be alone whenever I begin to start writing. My mind simply cannot function whenI can hear other people’s voices. Their words will get jumbled with mine and I lose focus.In Kent Haruf's article “To See Your Story Clearly, Start by Pulling the Wool over Your Own Eyes”, he describes his ideal writing spot. He prefers a coal room in his basement,sitting at a desk covered with little souvenirs that don't really mean much to him but helphim write (Haruf 312). For me my perfect writing spot is at my desk alone, listening to allof my favorite songs.I was asked to make notes of my habits as I did a paper for an English class, so Iwill share these with you throughout this article. Usually for me the actual typing process
 
 begins about 48 hours before I need to turn the paper in. I will sit down and start writingwhat I have been thinking about in my head for the past couple of days or weeks,however long it has been. Just like Anne Lamott says in her article “
Shitty First Drafts”
about how no one can have a perfect draft the first time, mine is no exception but I willmake corrections as I go (Lamott 301). My first goal is to make the introduction veryinteresting so I can catch the readers attention. A boring introduction will make peoplenot want to read anything else.After a successful introduction I will begin writing the bulk of the paper. I usuallyhit my first of many writer's blocks around the time I start on the second page. This wasmy first of the eight breaks I took throughout writing the paper. These breaks wererandomly taken whenever I needed to go to the bathroom, eat, or just do something elseto get my mind off of the paper. I am the type of person that can't sit still in an hour longclass, so there is no possible way that I could sit down for hours without taking a break.After I got back from the first break I was able to sit down and pick up where I left off without having to go back and read what I already had written. The one time I tried tofight through my writer's block, I sat there and stared at the computer screen re-readingeverything I had previously written. I was not able to continue unless I stopped and didsomething to take my mind off of it.As I continue the writing process I have to make small, quick decisions aboutwhether or not I like how a sentence came out or not, and many other things. A lot of times the ideas I had in my head about this amazing paper I was about to write sometimes just don't come out as planned. This happens to everyone so I try to not get discouragedand I will unfortunately just settle with something I don't like as much and move on.
 
As Muriel Harris states in her work “Composing behaviors of One and MultiDraft Writers”, people who write only one draft have problems getting the most out of their work (Harris). After writing some more and a few breaks later I finally get to theclosing argument. Again, like the introduction paragraph this is very important. It alwaystakes me a long time to figure out exactly how I want to word the last thing the readerswill remember me by. I don't want to make the readers feel as if I am not giving themclosure on the article, but I don't want to repeat myself too many times either.Once the first draft is done, this is when I usually go through and start makingchanges where I feel necessary. I try not to focus too much on the grammar and punctuation aspect yet because that can be corrected at the end. I am looking for sentences that I can cut out, paragraphs to be moved around so the paper flows better, andmore of the bigger details that I think will alter the way it is read. Every paper I write Igive to someone else and have them read it and tell me what they thought my main pointof the article was. If they have a different view from how I wanted it to go, then it is back to the drawing boards for me. I don't ever want a reader to feel confused or notunderstand what I meant by something so I try and write in a way where it is easy to doso. The third time I go through my paper I start looking for every little misspelled wordor punctuation mark that is wrong.I learned a lot about who I was as a writer that I would never have had the chanceto do unless I had done this “experiment” on myself. I now know that I am both a onedraft and multi draft writer. I come up with many different ideas in my head I just don'tlet them get on paper like multi draft writers do. I also learned that I never feel rushed or  pressured to get it done in time, I always finish my work when I need to no matter how

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