On Writing

Two things lead me to write on the topic of writing. First, I’ve been doing some reading about teaching writing in The Writer’s Jungle by Julie Bogart. Why teach writing if it isn’t important? It is extremely important to be able to communicate clearly and effectively in writing. I like Julie’s Brave Writer approach to writing because it is about coaching and joining the process, not just assigning a report and expecting your student to be able to do it well. The process of writing is sometimes lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. There are other writers all over. And there are readers! There are audiences when you read your own writing. Writing is a form of communication, and it is not something to learn or do only when you’re not busy doing more important things.

Second, I’ve experienced the ineffectiveness of talking. A conversation happens and I don’t have enough time to think clearly, so I say something that is relevant, but not exactly the truth. The other person takes what I said (which was only a part-truth) and uses it in the whole conversation, thinking it was the whole truth. It would have been so much better for me to write a letter to this person. The conversation did not go well. I could not clearly talk my way to the truth, and I was frustrated and wanted a break. I really wanted to just write what I knew.

Writing allows the mind to think and revise, to be more precise. Writing this post has allowed me to chew over two very different things running through my brain the past week and relate them to each other. Synthesis. I don’t find much synthesis in my verbal communications. I find jaggedness, weariness, confusion, words I wish I had a delete button for, clever things that struck a wrong note. Unless I’m free-writing in a stream-of-consciousness mode, I can avoid those awkward things in writing. So here’s a hip-hip-hooray for my blog! I love writing, and I enjoy knowing that someone is out there reading my writing, even if it’s not very many people. If I relied on verbal conversations alone, I’d be a weird, silent person. Someone who doesn’t have a great personality. I don’t feel that way at all in my writing. Writing adds dimension.

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