I have written any long essays this year of over 800 words. Especially due to the fact that I was a warrior for the beginning of the year. I always just sit down, brainstorm in my head for a few minutes, and have away at typing. I go fast, trying to spill all the ideas out of my head before I lose them.
Sure I could just write them down but I am way too lazy of a person for that. when i begin typing, it is just as Lamott explains it, "Very few writers know what they are really doing until they have done it." If I can reach the end of the essay without pausing for more than thirty seconds, well I have only done that once so its a damn good day if I can. When I do take these breaks I go back through my essay just to see if i can brainstorm where I want to go next with the piece. This is also kind of an edit and review time since I can reformat sentences to make them fit better and check grammar as well. I usually just repeat this process until I reach my goal and finish the horrible masterpiece.
I NEVER write drafts unless I am required too, instead I find it more convenient to just edit as I go and revise at the end. I am not sure if this method is flawed or not as I have not yet tried to write a draft for this class. If time was not an issue it would not change a damn thing at all. I wait til the last minute to do my assignments, don't we all? Ironically this assignment is being written a day and a morning in advance. Lamott talks about how she can't write unless she writes a shitty first draft where she can spill it all out first. Maybe this is what I have been doing this whole time. Writing shitty first drafts where I spill it all out, but never going on to create the second draft.