Thinking about Writing
For most writers the task of writing is a question of content. What is this paper about? Who is the audience? Who are the experts? How do I use sources? What do I want my reader to remember? These are all good things. Important things. Essential things. But writing should be about more than just content, it should also be about the process. How do we do this thing called writing? What are the places where good writing happens? What environment helps me to become a better writer? Why am I writing? For many writers—especially students—writing loses something essential in the focus on content. It loses the element of play and experimentation that is essential to good writing and good thinking. There is a sudden absence in the process. A lack of curiosity; an edge of anticipation. The nudge that spurs a writer to create something unique and satisfying. Not just for a teacher, but for themselves. This is what all students of writing should strive for. The need to engage in the process of writing, not just once or twice, but again and again and again, until you have explored something important and holy and true about yourself and the world around you. So write. Write about writing, about what makes you want to take the leap onto the page. Write an essay; a short one, just a page or two about what makes you want to write, and how your students can engage with ideas and the world around them. Let us know what the practice of writing means to you. Give the reader advice on how to write. What has worked for you? Describe it in beautiful, fully rendered, poetic detail. Flesh out the world of writing that we want all of our students to see and engage in. People say that writing matters, that art nourishes, and that expression can feed the soul. Get busy, start cooking, and serve us up your very best meal.
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