Are you working on any summer writing projects? I've got several going, and two of them are essays for a collection about teaching with children's literature. One is focused on teaching with Anna Sewell's 1877 Black Beauty and the other on teaching with Keiron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, et al.'s 2013-2014 reboot of the Young Avengers.
As I work on these projects, I'm reminded how very important a conscious and reflective writing process is. Without it, I'd be doomed to a terror and shame spiral--it's very easy to get caught up in the pressure and ever-expanding challenges of every major writing task. These essays are not really that long (2500-4000) words, but it's not really the length that determines the amount of fear. Instead, it's the challenge of purpose and audience.
Why am I writing, really?
What is it about this topic that is compelling?
For whom am I writing?
What does the audience know about my topic?
I've gathered all my familiar aids. My favorite way of taking notes, music to get me pumped up about writing after I've taken a break and lost momentum, friends to talk to about my ideas, all that stuff.
Something I learned about recently (from a student who came in for a Writing Center appointment this Spring!) is the information that MS Word stores about how many revisions/edits you've done and how many hours you've worked on a document. Check this out:
I'm only in the note-taking,outlining, and prewriting stage and already I'm on my 95th revision! Neat.