I have never been a fast writer. I tend to tinker with each sentence as a write it. I write a few words, stop, pick a different word, stop, back up, wait, turn these words around, think, tinker, write a few words, stop, think, back up, change a word.
Well . . . you understand what I’m saying. It is like I’m trying to write a final version during the first draft. Rather silly, I know.
My writing skills are being pushed to the limit in my Family Law class. OK, maybe not my writing skills, but my writing speed is being tested. The assignments that are given for this class are usually a couple of case briefs or summarizing law review articles, along with a summarizing another article for an online forum.
If you’ve ever read a judge’s decision on a case or a law review article, then you know how long and involved they can be. Summarizing one of these buggers can take a while; and, if you’re a slow writer like me because I edit on-the-fly, you have to plan accordingly to get your assignments completed by the deadline.
Fortunately, I learned some writing techniques in my English Comp class that actually prevent me from tinkering with my sentences as I write them. My favorite technique is free writing, which is non-stop writing of whatever thoughts comes into your head.
Remembering that you can always go back and edit it later. It is a terrific way to break through writer’s block. I actually got quite good at it. Now if I could only remember to do it when I’m working on my assignments.
English Comp, don’t fail me now!
By Michelle Diehl, a non traditional student on her way to becoming a paralegal.