Meta-Terms: Writing as Process

My theory of writing is what I would consider rather straightforward as far as theories go.  Writing is not something that there is one “good” standard that everyone can be held up against.  I think that writing is a long process and that every step (and even the number of steps) per person, per assignment or task, per context, etc. can be incredibly diverse.  

Many of the key terms that I would use to explain my thinking as far as writing goes also had various meanings. For example, one of the terms I came up with was “read” because I am one of those people that rereads my writing tasks and assignments as I go and do not just wait until I am coming to the end or until I am in the revision process to read what I had previously written.  In addition, I added to this term the fact that I am known to reread and proofread texts that I send to people; sometimes this means that I even forget to send texts when I accidentally leave my phone on a longer text that I am in the middle of rereading.  I have also found that reading your own work, no matter how small the assignment, before you expect someone else (either a peer or an instructor) to read it is important and I really tried to stress this idea with my 130 students last semester.

Another one of the most important key terms that I came up with to describe the process of writing was “copying and pasting.”  I use this language because it is how I move, not only my sentences, but also, and sometimes more importantly, my ideas around when I am typing a larger writing assignment.  I do this with important emails and other things that are not necessarily an “assignment” as well.  I think that the ideas behind “copying and pasting” as a component to writing is important because it shows that there are always different and/or better ways to convey ideas more effectively through writing.

While reading Metaconcept: Writing is an Activity and a Subject of Study I was underlining, starring, and writing in the margins like crazy.  Many of the things I wrote in the margins were related to my own experiences with writing both personally and pedagogically.  For example, in “1.1: Writing is a Knowledge-Making Activity” Estrem notes, “Writers of all kinds […] have had the experience of coming upon new ideas as a result of writing” (19).  I had double starred this and wrote “awesome when this happens!” because it truly is an experience in itself and the best way that writing begets more and, perhaps even better or more in-depth, writing is organically.  By organically I mean on its own or almost by accident as a result of thinking that only writing itself can beget.

Another example is the connections I made between Dryer’s principles in “1.4: Words Get Their Meanings From Other Words” and my own writing.  As Dryer explains, “Certainly students are often exhorted to define their terms, but this concept helps explain why particular meanings for key terms in their writing can require careful framing” (25).  While reading this I had connected it to the actual quick write that we did on Monday when we came up with our own key terms because, as aforementioned, many of my terms had more than one meaning for the writing that I do.

Lastly, my reading group and I had a fair amount of agreement in terms of the ideas in the Metaconcepts reading. We did not discuss many of our individual, specific key terms because at the end of class on Monday we did not have a poster so we had to devote most of our time Wednesday on getting something on the page to present to the other groups.  However, we all seemed to be in agreement that it was immensely important how many of the ideas concerning writing directly correlated to the ideas that we hold about literacy as well.  

  1 comment for “Meta-Terms: Writing as Process

  1. kjaxon
    February 5, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Really thoughtful work Ginamarie. I appreciate how you weave between the principles and your own writing practices and your teaching. I especially like this statement you make: “I have also found that reading your own work, no matter how small the assignment, before you expect someone else (either a peer or an instructor) to read it is important and I really tried to stress this idea with my 130 students last semester.” This move, of rereading, just seems so kind to me. It is an act of kindness, saying that I value your time, so let me take the first pass at meaning making. Thank you!

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