How much is enough?

proofreading-6
Photo credit to kater-alessandro.tk

Writing is a skill you need to constantly practice if you want your pen be sharp and strong. It requires diligent and permanent crafting and polishing of your piece of writing up to the point you are confident in every comma and every letter. Ideally. However, not always we have resources to produce an impeccable work. My experience, though, implies that creating a masterpiece is nothing but an onerous task. Deciding on the topic, creating an outline, writing the first draft, the second draft, the third draft…

During my study at the Pierce College, Washington State, US, I took several courses in academic and creative writing. Consequently, I had to put language down on paper extensively. At first, I did not perceive this task as something challenging; however, after the first assignment I understood that is not going to be a piece of cake at all. The reason is that I rewrote and edited my essays up to seven times. That is because I had very demanding host mom, Auntie Mariym, who wanted me to produce an impeccable work and, therefore, made me work arduously. Frankly, while writing my first work, I burst into tears after the third editing because I thought “Am I so hopeless that I can’t write an essay after three attempts?” However, my wise host mom rushed to calm me and said that it is completely normal to go through this long process. The first time we would sit and brainstorm ideas. Later, she would ask me to jot down the main points I want to discuss. Coming after would be playing with the organization and structure of the essay. The next step would be to expand these ideas and write some examples. Next, we would correct mechanics and think about vocabulary. After that, we would pay special attention to the punctuation. The concluding stroke would be creating a title that would grab reader’s attention and make him/her want to read more. The most important fact is that she rarely corrected the mistake immediately, instead, she usually made me think why that is a mistake and how I can fix it. That is how a typical writing process looked like during my year in the US.

This experience changed my view on writing essays which previously “allowed” only one
“chernovik” (a rough draft). Understanding that a good piece of writing takes time and effort, and editing for several times is absolutely OK gave me more freedom and ameliorated stress.

How much do YOU edit? Have you had an experience which changed your view on writing?

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5 thoughts on “How much is enough?

  1. Dear Lenera! Thank you so much for sharing with your experience! I agree with your point for 100%! Actually, when I was reading this post I thought “OMG! I am not the only ‘poor’ one who went through this way”. I also had a course ‘written communication’ where I was taught how to produce a good piece of writing during my studies in Malaysia. To be honest, it was the first time I consired writing as something important. Also, when it came to the first assignment in ‘written communication’, which was to right a short essay about myself, after sitting 4,5 hours unable to write anything meaningful I just started crying all my tears. However, throughout the semester I truly intended to take the cahnce and improve my writing skills. Finally, at the end I got “A-” mark which means I achieved my goal of developing my writing (at least, I hope so).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Gulnar,

      I’m very happy that someone has the same experience in writing.
      Due to the fact that in our schools we weren’t taught properly how to write, we lived with this conviction that writing does not require a lot of time. However, as anything else, good writing demands time and effort. And the more you do it, the better you become at it. Practice makes it perfect!
      I believe you would agree with me that the feeling of satisfaction you achieve after many hours of hard work worth it, don’t you?

      Kind regards,

      Lenera.

      Like

  2. Dear Lenerakezlevli,

    Thanks for sharing this blog post with us. I also had the same situation during my student exchange years abroad. The story you mentioned above reminds me mine. As a senior student in high school, I had English composition subject. I have faced many challenges, however, our professor encouraged exchange students to work hard by always staying with us after class. The good thing I liked in that system was using drafts. We had our unique cycle of writing essays, starting from the 1st draft. Then professor would check it, afterward the second, then the final version. We also used to peer check. That was the way how i learnt to write an academic essay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear @Maira1291,

      Thank you a lot for sharing your experience.
      That is an interesting pattern that those who studied abroad are familiar with this practice and that helped them to improve their writing skills.
      However, those who didn’t have much exposure to foreign education seem to miss the benefit of this practice.
      Do you think we should incorporate the practice of drafting for several times into our education system? What would be some additional advice would you give to those who want to make their pens sharper?

      Kind regards,

      Lenera.

      Like

  3. Well put, Lenera (5/5). This honest and personal account of writing is helpful reading for anyone going through this process. As your peers commented, your post shows that they are not alone in the struggle of learning to write. And not only in your own language, but RElearning to write in a foreign language.

    Liked by 1 person

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