Tell Me What I Don’t Know… It May Take a While

Roxanne Gay once wrote an article titled “Too Many Of Us, Too Much Noise.” The piece itself is an expose (where is my grave accent key in this text program?!) on literary magazines, but there seems to be a broader message to Gay’s titular statement than just there being a confounding influx of lit mags. To me, she is touching on a more philosophical aspect of our modern society in which everyone has something to say and (now more than ever before in our history) everyone has an outlet by which to say it, “. Her’s is a message that I can empathize with, and one that I can transpose, if you will, to other subjects and/or areas of interest. This is where Gay’s old article becomes relevant for our coursework. “Too Many Of Us, Too Much Noise” is something of a perfectly apt description for how I now feel concerning the concept of “writing.” Notice how I said “now” there? Yup.

So, what does that have to do with anything? Well, the way I see it, everyone and their mommas has an opinion on what “writing” is and what it does and does not do, and many of those opinions are written and published as anything from academic papers to opinion blogs. It’s almost enough to make your head spin (at least mine, anyway).

But, the readings from this course were chosen well, I think, for their ability to drive home the consensus that Writing, as a concept, is pretty much a “by your leave” kind of theory. In which individual awareness and understanding dictates how one perceives it.

Now, what am I going to make of this idea in our upcoming paper assignment… Sure, there are many ways by which a written assignment can be completed and presented. But I am of the opinion that form and content should be much more cooperative than, say, writing a technical essay about stream-of-consciousness. So, I am going to convey what I know so far (or don’t know as the case may be) by presenting a creative nonfiction piece. Something where my own opinions and ideas as well as those presented to us in this course can flow together more harmoniously with my own writing style. Of course, this could be done almost as well in other genres of writing, but where’s the fun in that?

What I want to do with this paper is build a looking-glass through which the reader may get an idea of how I see the world of writing and literacy, but that also incorporates how the readings/theories from this course have influenced my understanding thus far. But I also want to give the reader a sense of how very convoluted the concept of writing and literacy truly is. Because of these “wants,” I’m thinking that a braided-essay-esque structure would be a good fit for my paper. Or, perhaps, a more stream-of-consciousness layout. Either one or some combination of both would help to further my purpose. I also, however, think that during drafting of the paper I may switch modes and include sections that will look more “academically traditional” than creative nonfiction. But that is what the braiding is for I guess.

So, give me a “by your leave” for my own conception of writing, and I shall endeavor to present a piece as entertaining as it should be enlightening. With as many of the following “no-nos” as is possible. :)