July 11, 2012

Evaluating Your Own Work, Part Two

Posted in First Drafts, organizing your writing, self-evaluation tagged , , at 10:11 am by Rebecca Hein

The multiple distractions of evaluating our own writing help to explain why this is such a difficult job. Small mistakes jump out at us; then we have to stop and fix them or make a note to come back later. Larger problems of structure and writing style also emerge, bothering us with the indecision of “Do I try to fix this now, or continue reading?”

I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat down with a chapter or a whole section of a current manuscript, planning to read it all the way through to try to get a sense of the whole, then being sidetracked by all the small yet important problems I encounter.

September 15, 2010

Practice and First Drafts

Posted in First Drafts, Practice Writing tagged , , at 9:30 am by Rebecca Hein

Last week I suggested that you increase your practice writing (see previous posts about practice writing) and decrease your “real writing.” How did it go?

I’ve been doing this all year, especially in the past few weeks. Here’s my report: practice writing is restful. I can write about anything or nothing, released from the prison of my own high standards. I can scamper off into unknown territory, for pure fun, with no thought of order, coherence, or quality.

Try it; you won’t be sorry. If your experience is like mine, you’ll find even your first drafts flowing more easily, not just in language, but also in imagery and new ideas.