Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Verbal Vomit

The beginning is usually the hardest part. What am I thinking? What do I want to say? Why I am doing this? Do I want hummus or a gyro? Both? These are all questions that go through our heads as we stare at a blank computer screen, but there are ways to combat the frustration of not being able to write.

1) If you're writing a personal essay, sit down with a pen and paper and for 10 minutes write without lifting your pen from the paper. No stopping. This has been lovingly dubbed at JU as "verbal vomit." It's okay if half of the paper is why I am doing this? I hate this. I hate this. I have nothing to say. Stupid. This is so incredibly stupid. Even if you only get a few good ideas down on paper, you still have a few good ideas. Now write.

2) If you're writing a research paper, do your research first. Gather online articles, books, interviews, etc., read through them, highlight when necessary and then do your verbal vomit. Look for themes within that vomit (gross, I know. Just go with it). Is there a specific idea you keep going back to? Now write.

1 comment:

  1. I was emphasizing this technique just today with a student. Verbal vomits can be some writer's biggest asset! The start is sometimes just so hard!