SIMILE: Writing is like a model car
I have experienced the far extremes for writing and building various models. From writing the most controversial, longest, or even the simplest paper, I have had a somewhat decent exposure to all. With my experience of building model cars and airplanes, it dawned on me that writing and crafting are not so different. I think the main difference was that I liked building and I hated writing. I found constancies that made my hypotheses stronger. Such as you always start with something easy, say a one paragraph summary. My first model project was a small click-together set that could be easily put together. However, both took me a long time. Never trying either, it was hard to visualize where the next piece would go and how it would fir together. But when it was done, I couldn t have been happier.
Step by step, the similarities of making a model car and the process of writing can be easily seen. Perhaps the most important part is picking a project that is of your difficulty level, and one that appeals to you. If you are a beginner, writing a 10 page report is out of the question, just as complicated as a detailed level 5 Ferrari (Levels indicate difficulty 1: easiest 6: hardest).
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Also finding one that appeals to you is important because if you don t like what you are building/writing, then you will do a shabby job and perhaps never finish at all. Your 100% effort has to be put into it, and it still not look like the picture perfect model.
When you open the box of your model, and open the plastic bags filled with your pieces, I immediately think what have I gotten myself into! . At first the project looks as if it would take forever to finish. Having only shards of a model in front of you can be intimidating. But you try to make the best out of it and start.
The pieces lying around is much like brainstorming, trying to get ideas formulating, trying to get a small picture of what the car might look like. I then organize the similar pieces, so building is faster. Interior pieces are in one pile, where lights are in another. I buy all my materials like glue, paint, and decals ahead, so I do not have to worry about that once I get started. Getting organized is important because when building or writing, you don t have to search all around for the right piece or idea. Everything is in front of you laid out, and building is that much easier. So once you start you don t have to stop (unless a break is needed)
Finally you are about to get ready to start building. You open up the instructions, and bit by bit you start building. In a paper, you start your draft with the first intro paragraph and go on from their. Mistakes will be made, and sometimes, if the mistake is that bad, you have to start over. But piece be piece, word by word, the shards of that same model begin to look like what you wanted. Once you finish building, the project may look complete, but it is still far from over.
In order for the model to be complete, one must still sand down excess glue, paint the exterior and add decal (stickers) so the car can look as you imagined. This is much like your peer edit and self revisions, because you would never send a draft as your final paper. Once you have revised, the project is complete.
Although it may not look great, they get better and easier with more experience. Building and writing are not easy, but with a good outlook and some hard effort, other papers/models will be good too.
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