's Post

Writing from the Inside Out

Posted by on 09/16/2010 at 05:05 PM


"Writing" Down the House


"The scene that scares you the most, that you don't want to write because it's the most difficult to write--that's the one you have to write. So I think when people have writer's block, it's because what they have to write scares them. And that's usually the heart of the book."

--Marcy Dermansky

Replace "scene" in this quote with "legal methods paper" or "seminar paper" and author Marcy Dermansky could be talking about law school writing. Writing is often scary. This fear results from many things: being beat up by the red pen in grade school, having low esteem about the quality of your writing, feeling not confident about the rules of grammar or techniques of good writing. In an interview with Professor Opipari about her writing process, Dermansky talks about overcoming writer's block by jumping in to write the part of the text that is ready to be written. Writing does not have to be a top down process. You can write from the inside out.

So keep this in mind when that seminar paper or legal memorandum terrifies you. Start where you have something to say. Discuss the current law first. Then, move to the analysis. Topic sentences and introductions can come later when you have a better idea about what you are writing.

Happy writing.