Brainstorming on everyone’s parade.

As I’ve written before, I’m a procrastinator. A procrastinator who hates to pre-write.  This comic pretty accurately depicts almost every rough draft I’ve ever written:2013-04-22-Word-VomitWhat this comic doesn’t show is my “brainstorming process,” which is basically just me spraying that word vomit on all my friends and relatives.  I begin this usually about a month before the paper is due.  Friend/relative innocently asks me, hey, how is _____ class going? And then it happens. Bleh. I word vomit every paper idea I’ve had for the class’s final paper all over the place.

Why I'm no fun to hang out with mid-semester.

Why I’m no fun to hang out with mid-semester.

So this might seem like a giant waste of time for everyone involved. But it’s just like actually vomiting;  afterwards, I feel a lot better.  And once I get it all out there, I can see my word vomit clearly.  I know what sounded dumb when said aloud and what actually sounded genius.  I throw up words I had forgotten about, ideas spill out that I didn’t even know I had, and voila!– I’ve just brainstormed.  I can look down at the mess I made, pick out the good ideas, leave the bad ones behind, and move on to the next victi– err, relative/friend, and begin the process again.

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  • Kristine says:

    Haha, I know exactly what you mean! So many times I’ve said to people, “I’m having trouble with my paper,” and they’ve responded, “What are you writing about?” I don’t think they truly expect the barrage of nonsense that usually follows such a question, but only by speaking my thoughts aloud can I really discern which ideas are golden and which are…well, vomit.

  • Nicole Wittenburg says:

    But I think talking through ideas is SUCH a valuable tool!! I don’t know why but it’s different to just hear yourself talk it out then write it out. I constantly tell my students the same thing!


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