The Writing Process

Writing is a skill that is acquired through conscious and persistent effort: it is not an instinctive skill that we are born with. There are several reasons why writing is more complex than speaking. One reason is that it is separate from any form of physical interaction: the writing stage can take place at a totally different time and place from the reading stage. This is why writers must try to perceive their text from the readers point of view and write in a way that is clear and relevant to their audience. Another reason is that writing is thought-active. The simple fact that you want to write about a topic triggers thought processes that give the topic a particular shape out of a range of alternatives. To use a computing metaphor, your mind reconfigures the topic in a way that allows it to be downloaded in a written form. This then influences the direction your text will take. If this direction is unsatisfactory, you have to think about the topic differently, reshaping and reorienting it. The changes that take place from thinking to writing explain why many novice writers complain that their final result is not what they initially wanted to express, or that what they mean comes out differently on the written page.

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