Writing About Writing~College Class

I am taking a college class this year and I chose to do a writing class because I enjoy writing and want to improve. Little did I know that this class wasn’t just any writing class. This class takes a whole new approach to the way we were originally taught writing.

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In this class I will be studying writing. Studying, as in studying chemistry or history. We will be studying how writing works, not necessarily learning how to write. I was kind of shocked and glad at the same time. Studying writing? I never really thought about it. I guess it is a writing class. We study everything else in every other class. Why is writing so different and complicated?

The curriculum we are using is called Writing About Writing by Elizabeth Wardle and Doug Downs. It is a very interesting textbook.

There are 4 main threshold concepts that Elizabeth and Doug talk about that really make sense.

  1. Writing is impacted by prior experiences
  2. Writing helps people make meaning and get things done, but there are always constraints.
  3. “Good” writing is dependent on writers, readers, situation, technology, and use.
  4. Writing is a process, all writers have more to learn, and writing is not perfectible.

I am going to jump right into concept #1.

Isn’t it so true?

We all write about something and we can only write if we have had some sort of experience to base it off of. We all have world views and ideas. Writing is just expressing them.

Obviously, I am writing this because I had an experience with the college class and learned things. I couldn’t write this without that experience.

Moving on to concept #4.

Doesn’t this one take a huge load off your shoulders?

All writers have more to learn.

Just think, if J.R.R. Tolkien was here, he would still have more to learn. I believe he would admit that too. Same goes for any published author. They aren’t done learning after publishing a book. They are done with that book but they are still learning to write another and another.

Think about it, what writer is going to say “I know everything here is to know about writing.”?

Writing isn’t just spelling and grammar. It’s not error-avoidance. Writing is the invention, the form, the ideas, the rhetoric, and the process. What is writing without those things?

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Anyways, I thought I would share. Writing is a whole new subject to me now.

I was also given the prompt to write what I believe about the word writing. I had to write it in a single sentence. The point of the prompt is to see if my views change by the end of the course. I have no doubt they will be. Here’s my view on the word currently…

Writing is filling a blank space with ideas, feelings, imagination, and color with the use of words; all for a purpose.

What do you think? What is your view of writing? How would you describe the word “writing” in a single sentence?


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