Zinsser (2005) argued that writing is not a product but a process that needs time and attention to develop. In many occasions, it is always difficult for writers to come up with a perfect piece of literature in the first attempt. It is common to find that in the first draft, there are a number of mistakes that were not intended by the writer.
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This may be grammatical mistakes, wrong sentence structure, clarity mistakes, wordiness and a poor logical flow of writing. Whichever reason it may be, the important thing that a writer should realize is that it is normal to make errors in the first attempt. It is important therefore to embrace the culture of persistence in writing if success is expected.
Booth, Colomb and Williams (2007) observe that the difference between success and failure is always very thin. In writing, the distinguishing factor between a professional writer and an average one is the attitude they have towards writing. An individual with poor perception towards literature, one who cannot re-do his or her previous work again and again, may not make a good writer.
Such a person may not be in a position to refine and reshape his initial work. Therefore, the final output would be below the expected standards. A good writer would have the patience to go back to the initial work and check for any errors that were made in the previous version and work on the text to meet the expectations.
Many people can write. However, very few can be good writers. Good writing is not the ability to make several sentences within a short period. It is not about one’s mastery of the language.
It is not the ability to apply figures of speech in sentences. Good writing is about the ability to be persistent and keen on learning mistakes. It is the art of redoing that, which was done previously but seems not to be perfect. It is the ability to refine and reform an original version of literature to a better quality. In fact, writing is a habit that is developed, not a characteristic that one is born with.
In many occasions, students fail to be good writers not because they have poor knowledge. The main reason is that they always fail to check their work repeatedly to eliminate some obvious errors that would not appear in their work. Such students view writing from a wrong angle that is, as a kind of burden that at best should be done within a very short period and then pushed aside.
This is where they get it wrong. In so doing, they leave many errors in their work. Such works lack proper flow that would clearly bring out the intended meaning. The sentences may be fragmented because of poor vocabularies. The sentences would have completely different meaning from the one intended leading to misinterpretation.
It is therefore very important for those intending to be good writers, weather a student or not, to embrace the attitude of rewriting. They should appreciate the need to go through the original script severally, which would improve the text. Zinsser (2005) says, “The point is that clear, writing is the result of a lot of tinkering”. It is therefore a choice, not a chance that would determine one’s success in writing.
Booth, W., Colomb, G., & Williams, G. (2007). A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Thesis and Dissertations. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
Zinsser, W. (2005). On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. New York, Quill.