Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March 8

What is writing for?

Whether you are or aren't a writer, just about everyone has a need to write. Expression, reflection, communication of information, persuasion, entertainment, memory. But is writing for everyone? Why do we teach it (other than to improve the skill of expressing, reflecting, communicating, persuading, entertaining, or remembering)? 

Not being an English teacher per se, I realize I build in writing even though my subject area even though it does not necessarily need to be there. So what am I assuming? I am terrible at a number of subject areas from movement to math. Though I was exposed to each one at multiple points on my life's trajectory, I can remember disliking some of them very much. That does not negate the value of trying or learning. But how competent am I in those areas? Why know them? 

This is just a question I wanted to put out there because I realize our society is very reliant on writing (and reading), but is this the main reason why we teach it? Any writing teachers or writers wish to respond? 

6 comments:

  1. Very thought provoking. I think of writing as a second way of speaking. Since speaking is not always an option, writing paves the way to still be heard by many. I cannot imagine not giving a child the gift of speech and so to teach writing extends that speech in a form for the masses. One more important benefit of writing is that you can take it back. I often write when I am angry letting it a spew and throw it away. Speech spewed isn't easily retrieved.

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  2. Funny you should ask. I just put down an idea for a post--"What made/makes me write?" I will have to develop it yet, but I think I write because I can zero in and express what is important to me--self expression and the desire to be heard as a being on this earth?????

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  3. Well, all of the above things are important, too, but I think people write to make sense of their world, their lives. Writing helps one find the personal words to express emotion, to explain emotion, even I guess, to help detour around emotion. Art must be that too, but I just like words more. Artists will disagree.

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  4. I love teaching kids to write because of the power of the written word. I want children to know they have the potential to positively impact the world around them. Teaching them to read like writers can help them be more aware when someone else is trying to persuade or influence them.

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  5. I live in a household where I am the only one who values writing. But the others do value speaking - choosing words carefully and being understood. Writing for me helps me develop and sustain those same skills so while I'm not sure it is important to write, I do think communicating effectively is important.

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  6. Words are power, no matter what the context.

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