2: Exploring Your Writing Process

The activity can be done INDIVIDUALLY or in a SMALL GROUP (we suggest no more than 5 people for short time frames). The writing process activity can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours or more, depending on how you choose to represent your writing, the materials you end up using, and whether you work alone or in a group.To fully engage in this activity, you might want to gather some of the following materials (you will not need all of these):

  • Paper (regular computer paper, larger craft paper, construction paper, white paper, different colors of paper)
  • Writing/Drawing utensils (pencils, pens, markers, crayons)
  • Scissors
  • Tape/Glue/Stapler
  • Computer with access to online mapping programs (Bubbl.us, PowerPoint, Prezi)
  • Computer with Word
  • Whiteboard and whiteboard markers
  • Chalkboard and chalk
  • Anything else you can think of—Be as creative as you want!

Consider the following questions before you move on with this activity (you might take a few minutes to think about them individually, you might write down a few notes, or you and a group might talk about these questions together):

  • What are the ways that you generally talk about writing?
  • How has faculty in your department talked about writing?
  • Have you ever thought deeply about your own writing process?
  • What are you most concerned about when you write?
  • What emotions arise when you think about writing?

Representing Your Writing Process
In whatever way(s) that make the most sense to you (see the previous list of possible materials), write about, map, and/or draw your typical writing process for writing academically. Consider these questions:

  • What are the processes and practices involved with writing for you?
  • What do you do?
  • What kinds of activities not typically considered “writing” are part of your process?


When you’ve completed this version of your map (remember: your writing process may change, so it’s important to revisit this version often), answer for yourself a few questions:

  • Do you notice any patterns in your writing process? Were you aware of these patterns before? What do these patterns tell you about your writing process?
  • Did you learn anything new about your writing process by trying to represent it?
  • What activities represented in your writing process are absolutely necessary for you to complete writing projects? How might you make sure they are attainable in a writing session?
  • What activities represented in your writing process are actually counter-productive? How might you change them?
  • Are there any conditions that help you write (e.g. objects, spaces, technologies)?
  • Where am I most confident in my writing process?
  • Where do I struggle most?
  • How might you find resources and strategies for improving these difficulties?