Terrible Writing Methods

I am a terrible writer.

By that, I don’t necessarily mean that the output of my writing is terrible (but that’s  certainly a possibility), but that my writing method is awful.  The problem begins in the planning phase, where the problem is there usually is no written planning phase. No outlines, notes, or anything else to provide a blueprint for my writing project.  Of course I learned how to create an outline in writing classes, but I never felt the need to do so.  Normally, I outline in my head with nothing being written down.  The only exception is the 20,000 word story I wrote where I did make an outline consisting of the dates of the entries and 1 to 6 words describing them.  But a 5,000 word research paper?  Nothing except for a list of sources.

The other major problem is the fact that I almost never re-read anything I write.  Every paper for school, every post on this blog, everything.  I do go back and edit something if I think of it, but I don’t re-read a document and correct it.  The problem is that every time I read something I wrote, I think that it’s terrible because of the fact that I wrote it.  If I re-read my writing, I’d never make a blog post or have been able to hand in any papers because I’d delete them for being awful.

I recently make a major revision to the story I mentioned above, basically changing the entire point of divergence.  This may have led to several plot points not making any sense, but I’m not sure because I don’t want to read it.  Even going back through the parts I knew I had to change made me want to delete the blog and my copy in my word document (although since nobody can seem to finish the thing, maybe that would have been a good idea).

I know how to make an outline, and that planning out how to express your thoughts are important.  I know that “being a writer means re-writing”.  But I never bothered to put the knowledge into practice during high school or college, so I’m not sure I’m going to suddenly start now.


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