I completely baffled myself last week. It was our spring break, and I somehow managed to write 3 papers. Altogether I wrote 20 pages and 7,387 words! I was wondering to myself how I managed to get all of this done in a matter of days, but then it dawned on me: this is how I’ve always written papers, and, with the freedom of spring break and no classes to attend, it made for a super productive break. So, in honor of my insane motivation to write this spring break, I’ve decided to dedicate to create a “how-to” on paper writing (from my perspective of course).
1. Find Your Groove. – This first point may seem a bit odd to you, but for me it is absolutely necessary. Personally, I can’t even begin to write if I don’t have some seriously good jams going on in the background, preferably blasting through headphones. I have a few writing playlists in my library ranging from acoustic albums to boy bands of the 90s. This certainly isn’t for everyone, however. Sometimes your groove is silence or ambient noise, and that’s completely fine! Just start by finding your groove, and stick with it.
2. Get Comfy – No one wants to be uncomfortable ever. So why torture yourself when you write? Papers usually take longer than 30 minutes, so pick a spot that you’ll be comfortable in both physically and mentally. By mentally, I just mean pick a place that you’re not easily distracted or interrupted. I have never typed a paper while sitting in a regular hard back chair. I have to be somewhere where I’ll be comfortable or I’ll complain to anyone around me the entire time. If no one is around me, I’ll have a full blown conversation with myself about how uncomfortable I am (my comfort is a pretty serious thing).
3. Check Your Attitude – Perhaps one of the most detrimental actions you can take when planning to write a paper is having a sour attitude. If you go into it expecting to hate it, you will. I’ve found that when I’m in a bad mood, it’s much more difficult for me to write, and if I do manage to write with this attitude, my work is terrible. Even if you just don’t like writing, it will more than likely be necessary at some point in your life. If this is the case, look at it as an ability to sharpen your skills. Writing just one paper can transform you into a better writer, so what do you have to lose?
4. DO NOT LOOK AT THE WORD COUNT – There is no way that I can stress this point enough. If you don’t get anything else out of this post, get this: if the word counter is present at the bottom of your word processor other program you use, remove it. Trust me, it’ll be worth it. I am aware that some papers have minimum word counts, but constantly checking your progress will only make matters more difficult. They say a watched pot never boils and I believe the same thing applies to writing: a watched word count never increases. It can also cause issues when you’re extremely close to reaching that magic number. If your main concern is reaching your minimum word count, your writing will reflect it. The passion of your wording can fizzle out, and people will notice. This rule also goes for page requirements. Just focus on writing your best, not your least.
5. Use Your Resources Wisely – Word processors and other programs have excellent little tools to help you enhance your writing, so use them! There is this awesome feature that allows you to highlight a word and immediately find synonyms for it. This tool has proven to be extremely valuable in my own writing. I am the worst for being repetitive in my papers. In fact, if you look closely at this post, you’ll likely find many repeated adjectives, phrases, etc. Reread your writing after every paragraph and look for these things. If you find them, sometimes it’s as simple as using a synonym for a repeated word. This same tool will also allow you to look up the definition of the word. This is also an essential tool in my writing because I’m always using the wrong word. Today I used the word frivolously when I meant furiously, and believe me these words have two very different meanings. Thank goodness for the definition tool!
6. Finish What You Started – When possible, I try to finish a paper in one sitting–no matter the length. Granted, sometimes it is hard to do this with classes, eating, and other priorities. I’m not suggesting that you neglect all other responsibilities and necessities in order to finish your paper, but I do suggest that you do as much of it as you can. If you’re anything like me, when you’re writing one paragraph you’re thinking of what to write three paragraphs later. If I don’t immediately write what I am thinking at the time, those thoughts somehow disappear into what I can only imagine is a massive black hole of lost thoughts. I wonder what it’s like there? So, in order to avoid this sad fate of your thoughts write as much as you can. If you know you’ll have to do the paper in a span of several days, write out ideas you have directly below the paragraph you’re typing. They don’t have to be organized or pretty, just legible.
Well, that’s a wrap! I hope that this how-to will be helpful for you in your own writing en devours. If you have any tips or tricks you use to help you write leave them in the comments below. Let me what you think of my how to in comments section as well. Was it helpful? I would love to hear from you! As always, follow my blog and have a lovely day!