Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blog Post 7: Affective Writing Response

Though earlier in life I never considered myself a 'good' writer, over the years I've come to see myself as such. A more accurate term to describe how I see myself would probably be 'storyteller,' but the primary medium for my stories is the written word so, in a broad sense, I've come to be a writer. I enjoy expressing myself through artwork as well, and have often used both media in tandem to present my ideas. For example, I enjoyed reading comic books when I was young, but it was never enough to simply read them; I wanted to participate in the worlds I saw, interact with them, live those fantastic lives as much as I could. Writing and drawing my own stories was my way of doing just that.

Crudely drawn comic books gave way to a more subtle form of writing, namely the materials involved in the preparation and execution of role playing games. It was in that arena that I learned the dynamic nature of characterization and the organic process of developing a creative plot. My friends and I enjoyed ourselves, and I daresay that many of the stories we concocted together would still be impressive by my current standards (or perhaps that's just nostalgia).

It was in college when I really began to see the power of words as I bounced from theater and playwriting classes to a brief time as a journalism major, and finally through the lens of English education. I've seen words both as a means to an end and as the end itself. Despite my background in recreational creative writing, I've found that in an academic setting I enjoy critical analysis papers more than anything else. In such papers I'm expected to dissect, interpret, and evaluate themes and phenomena in given texts. I get to take a literary microscope to the text, learning skills for use with my own writing as well as worldviews of other writers.

That is not to say that I've enjoyed all my writing assignments. I struggle any time I'm given a narrow list of topics or I'm required to write from a position that holds little interest for me. Such assignments are rare, but when it happens I often try to approach the assignment in ways that I find entertaining, and in the end assignments I don't care for end up being at least somewhat creative.

This eclectic range of writing experiences helps me understand that students often come to class with their own interests in writing, ranging from "none at all" to "the next teen author." I've had experience with many registers of speech and text, and I see merit in writing just about anything, from complex essays and intensely crafted created works to more informal, socially driven writing like Facebook, texting, or forum-based dialogue. Because of this, I can help students recognize that they too are 'good' writers in at least one area of their lives.

1 comment:

  1. I can see from your own perceptions of who you are as a writer, as well as the ways you choose to express yourself that you have a sense of the importance of writing, especially differentiated writing opportunities for learning. These answers you have reflected on will provide you a really great foundation from where to begin your writing instruction and assignments. I can see that as a teacher the ones you liked completing are the types that will begin to inform your instruction and which you can teach with confidence. This is good to remember, because motivation and self-efficacy will be important precursors to your students own success with using writing as a means of communicating their learning.