Forget What You Know About Writing
Just for a moment . . . all the rules about hooks, structure, and so on. We’re not quite throwing out the rule book, but for a moment we’re just going to forego rules and find the joy of writing.
Having been an educator for nearly seven years, the lessons about writing in the classroom are still with me. Although I’m no longer in a university setting, I still find myself writing the university.
I love that I got the opportunity to hone my writing skills, such as research and analysis, within this context. But, when we write a particular genre of writing as is the academic essay, the rules of genre can impact our relationship to language.
In academia, as with other forms of professional writing, evaluation is the norm. We find ourselves constantly writing for others, and at times, internalize the critics in the audience.
I don’t think this is bad. Audience awareness and evaluation is a vital part of writing. BUT when it becomes a modus operandi, it’s time to recalibrate.
Low stakes writing like this one (or the creative writing you keep hidden) can be a great tool to recalibrate- low stake in that there isn’t a paying client relying on it. It’s the type of writing that lets you revel in it freely without expectation of what it “should be”.
Recalibration is vital. It is what reminds us why we love writing, why we love language, and most importantly it reminds us of the very socio-emotional dimensions of language.
Reconnecting with language and ourselves through language can better equip us as writers; if we understand ourselves, we can better understand our audience. It makes us better writers because to write for an audience is to imagine an audience.
Whichever type of writing allows you to reconnect with yourself and with your writing, make some time this week to throw out the rule book and write for fun to recalibrate.
P.S. If you end up loving what you write, you can always edit and publish it.