When we write, we are doing something very complicated, so it makes sense to think of writing as a process. You might think of the essay you hand in as a meal and the process of writing it as including steps such as picking out recipes, shopping for or gathering ingredients, cooking food, setting a table, etc. You know that it might be appropriate to prepare breakfast for yourself and a friend by cutting up some fruit and making toast, but that same meal wouldn’t seem as fitting for a big family feast celebrating a birthday or holiday — and the amount of planning and preparation that would go into both of these meals varies widely. Writing situations also vary, so it’s good for you to have a number of steps and processes you can use. After reading this chapter, we encourage you to experiment with your writing process, to try some steps you never used before. In doing so, you expand your writing abilities — and maybe you’ll find something you want to add to your regular rotation of ways into a writing assignment.
We included excerpts from some fantastic writing resources, which you can find in their entirety at the end of this book in a section aptly titled “Resources.”