I had never even entertained the thought of reading and writing as two mutually exclusive activities until I read Deborah Brandt’s article “The Status of Writing”. For a long time, I assumed the act of writing was dependent on the act of reading. Brandt acknowledges this in her article multiple times, often pointing towards the economical value of writing based on the breadth and prestige of is readership. Yet, Brandt’s article and our discussion caused me to rethink writing, reading, and the connection between the two.
Brandt emphasized the stigma of control, moral value, and protection of the consumer while examining the reader. It seemed that Brandt felt that the writer, at least in our society today, was subservient to the reader. Of course, we know from our discussion and our gallery that, as a society, we write just as much as we read (if not more) due to social media and workplace writing. I feel as though that shift towards literate equilibrium redefines writing from something that derives its value from readership to something that is utterly necessary for survival in the modern world. To write is to be.
The old idea that authors were dusty old men holed up in mahogany studies is disappearing. Writing is no longer an esoteric pastime of the elite. Our class is an example of the diversity writing fosters: all sorts of majors and ages elected to take on a concentration in writing. The ideas of writing are as varied as writers themselves. Even the definition of communication, perhaps the most basic goal of writing (or is it?), differs from writer to writer.
One of the most wonderful things I read in Brandt’s article was the series of quotations on page 157 from various subjects in Brandt’s study. To see the positive effect writing had on people who may not even consider themselves writers was especially heartening. It further proves that writing is a universal form of creative expression that can be used by bank tellers and college professors alike. I feel as though those quotations reflect the goals I have for the minor. Precision, thoughtfulness, and clarity are all things I would like to achieve in both my writing and myself.