My Theory of Writing! Okay, I really hadn’t thought about it much until this week (or perhaps at all). When thinking of my reasons for reading and writing, I found that I kept simplifying my terms. Reading started out as being for obligation, learning, enjoyment, and boredom. Writing had essentially the same purposes listed. After staring at those terms for a while, I realized that it’s really about me feeling as though I have to do something. Even that “for enjoyment” part began to seem more and more like an obligation (think: “I have to escape this boredom,” like a “duty to thyself,” etc.). In this, I think it all comes down to necessity (… at least for me).
When it comes to my daily writing practices, pretty much all of it is about doing something that needs to be done. Whether it’s about typing up an assignment or a text, there is some sort of necessity behind it. I need* to turn something in, I need* to tell my property managers that they suck (ok, I never actually send that email), I need* to respond to someone’s message before it is confirmed that I’m not the greatest friend, and so on and so on. All of these “necessary” writings seem to be the result of appeasing an intended audience, one comprised of professors, or friends, or simply people I have to contact for whatever reason.
*”Need” is subjective, sure.
That brings me to this week’s reading. Kevin Roozen states that “[w]riting puts the writer in contact with other people, but the social nature of writing goes beyond the people writers draw upon and think about” (18). This helped me understand my pilot-self-study-writing-log-thing; I may be writing pretty much everything that I write because I have an intended audience that requires attention, but there are even more people involved than I had previously thought. A particular way of phrasing something, the degree of politeness or formality, the very diction of any given paper, post, email, or text… all of it has been shaped by other people, whether I like it or not. Something so often done in solitude is actually pretty damn social… disturbing!
So, my “Theory of Writing”: Writing is an activity with potentially unwanted, multi-layered collaboration, done out of some perceived necessity, maybe even urgency, that is used to communicate with either the self or others. Or something like that, the end.