What Counts as Writing?

I found our conversation on What Counts as Writing to be very thought provoking. When I sat down to add my three screenshots to the gallery, I felt any form of words written thoughtfully or with the intention to communicate could be considered writing. For this reason I added screenshots of map directions, a research poster, and emails. However, the screenshots of art, videos, and sheet music found in the gallery made me reconsider my arguably simplistic view. Following the short discussion time in blog groups, I became satisfied with categorizing art, music, and videos as writing. After all, screen plays and songs involve substantial amounts of writing to produce. The full group conversation further pushed me to think deeper into the aforementioned examples.

The discussion point about communication versus writing proved to be a turning point and interestingly directed me back towards my original view. Although writing often goes into the creation of a video or song, the video and song as an entity should not be classified as writing. The “What is ‘Writing’ or ‘Script’” section of the Ong reading further solidified my personal classification of writing. As Ong states, notches on sticks led to writing, but did not constitute writing. Music, art, and videos can be thought to inspire writing (or be inspired by writing), but cannot inherently be classified as writing.

My goal for the writing minor is to become a more professional, effective writer through mastering control of language. While our What Counts as Writing discussion did not ultimately change my classification of writing (ie: I will still focus on writing words throughout the minor), it did open my mind to a broader range of writing genres and mediums I hope to explore. For example, I initially questioned whether the cut up machine exercise was actually writing but I now feel content classifying my jumbled sentences as such.

2 thoughts to “What Counts as Writing?”

  1. Hi! I definitely was on the same boat like we discussed in class! After the discussion I was able to open my mind and thoughts on defining what writing really is? However, when communication came into conversation, I was thrown a bit off guard with what I was beginning to accept as ‘writing.’ We definitely share the same goals in what we want to accomplish in the minor and I think it is really cool that you are taking on a minor so different from your major!

  2. Jeremy — I don’t necessarily think that your view on writing before the class was simplistic. I feel as though the identity of traditional writing – essays, novels, articles, etc. – is an important one to establish before one delves into more fridge definitions. I definitely agree with your second paragraph. Visual and performance art can inspire writing, but should not be labeled writing; writing is not synonymous with communication, although that is one of its main functions. As for your goals, I think you could get even more specific (“generality is the enemy of all art”). What does “professional” mean to you? What defines “effective” writing? Specificity allows for more tangible goals that can be just as tangibly achieved.

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