Monday, August 1, 2016
The Value of Prewriting
When you hear the term prewritng, what comes to mind? Brainstorming? Research? Scattered notes on your desk? I'm sure we'd agree on the definition: the early stage of writing where idea formulation begins and blossoms.
Recently while vacuuming and mentally sorting out an article idea, I recalled something a writing instructor told me. Her husband saw her sitting on the couch and asked if she was taking a break. She told him she was working - writing an article in her head. Her point for me was that a writer's life has numerous productive stages, whether done with pen and paper, on the computer screen, or in our heads.
This encouraged and helped me see the value of the prewriting and brainstorming stages. It's where our ideas are birthed and become a reality on the road to our destination: communicating with readers.
Elizabeth King Humphrey had this to say about Creative Brainstorming on the Women on Writing blog:
"When teaching writing, I’ve often found that many students don’t seem to throw enough focus on each of the different steps involved in writing: pre-writing, writing, and revising. Creativity can play a part in all three stages.
Certainly, if supported, the pre-writing stage can help a writer gain access to a variety of ideas that might not have appeared without taking the time. What happens when you approach your writing with a variety of questions or just space and time to grow your ideas? Often you get surprising answers that expand your choices even more. You’ve moved beyond the tip of the iceberg because your few ideas help to generate more ideas; your creative right side is engaged. A brainstorming session is born."
I have to agree. Writers are wired for thinking, which translates into writing. In the right balance, this is a good thing. It doesn't have to overwhelm.
Prewriting keeps the mind active, offering material and insight for current and future projects. It sustains "continued education", helping us stretch our minds and strengthen the skills we need to keep moving forward.
In Other News
Ann Gabhart visits us next week to discuss and give away a copy of her latest book, Murder Comes by Mail. Hope you can join us!
Congratulations to Susan P., winner of Carry Me Home by Dorothy Adamek in last week's interview and giveaway!
What kind of prewriting do you do? What are you writing this week?