Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time. Remember this in moments of despair. If you find that writing is hard, it's because it is hard.
(William K. Zinsser, On Writing Well, 7th ed. Collins, 2006)
It's a question I ask my composition students at the start of every term: For each of you, what's the hardest part of writing?
Their answers provoke a discussion about the writing process--or rather, the many different activities that writers engage in when composing. Their answers also give me an excuse to outline key topics we'll be covering in the course.
Here are some typical responses.
- finding something to write about
- just getting started
- doing the research--and then deciding when I've done enough research
- the loneliness of being stuck in a room by myself and feeling I have nothing to say
- deciding what to leave out
- rewriting--draft after draft after draft
- catching all the mistakes
- figuring out where and how to end
Now, if it's not too difficult, why don't you try completing this sentence: "For me, the hardest part of writing is . . .." And then click on "comments" to pass along your response.
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