Introductory Writing — Writing What We Know

It may sound crazy, but I don’t think that you can teach writing. I know, I know, it’s a crazy concept but hear me out. I believe that everyone can write, so therefore you can’t teach something that everyone knows how to do. It’s like breathing for example. Even when people claim they don’t know how to write they do. It may not look pretty, it may look unconventional, it might be the most horrible thing you’ve ever seen in your life, but it still is all writing. What you can teach however is form and function. I at no point during my schooling ever remember any teacher teaching me how to write, and honestly I don’t remember being taught form and function until I was in college. And it’s not that I had bad teachers it’s in fact the opposite, I’ve never had a bad English teacher in my entire life. I am so fortunate, but I just don’t remember them ever teaching writing.

My first proper experience with being taught to write was when I joined a writing workshop in high school. It was run by an amazing American author named William Dewey who, for free, just wanted to help us novices become stronger and better writers. Again he never “taught” us to write, we already knew how to do that, but he help us strengthen our writing. He taught us to trust in our judgment, to stop believing we were bad writers, and to stop us from writing “I said joyfully” after every sentence! It’s a difficult task teaching writing, and I think the biggest obstacle is just people believing that they can’t do it. But when you finally understand, the sentence makes so much sense, it can be the most rewarding subject to teach.

A friend’s sister once told me that you need to be an avid reader to be a good writer and I disagree, and have been actively defying it since then. You might think I’m irrational for thinking this, but hear me out I’ll explain. She meant “reading” in the literal sense that your nose needs to be in a book 24/7. Personally I absolutely hate to “read” because for me it takes too long, you can’t do anything else while you read, and eyes have a tendency to wander. I know I’m not the only one in the world who learns and reads differently, so I know you don’t have to “read” to be a good writer. Most of my inspiration comes from other media mainly audible and visual.

It’s no great shock to anyone that I don’t particularly want to be a teacher, but inevitably doing the teaching assistantship requires me to dabble in teaching a little. If I can bring anything to the classroom, I hope I can bring what Will bought so us. Though we were strictly in a creative sense, and I may or may not be in the classroom, I hope I can emphasize passion and creativity. To show that there is no such thing as “good” writing or “bad” writing, but rather that writing has strengths and weaknesses. I also want to emphasize that being a writer means that you must and have to continue to write. That no matter what you think you are never done, and there is something fun about that! I hope I can instill in future students a love and passion for writing, so that at least once a day they are thinking of something that they want to write.

Featured Image can be found here.

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