Writing to Read

Much of the reading that we have been focusing on this past week has been about the relationship between writing and reading. There have been arguments made about the focus on the skill of writing and the skill of reading and about how they are both owed equal attention and care. I am fascinated by the concept that without writing there is no reading and how reading is so much more than words on a page.

In Brandt’s piece, Literacy and Learning, the idea of mass writing versus mass reading was brought up. I was disappointed with this concept that writing is a good or a commodity rather than something that is done for good. I believe that the power of the written word does far more good than its sometimes trivial purposes. Words are forever, though life is fleeting. The greats have touched hundreds of thousands of lives since their passing, with the written word. There is a reason that people still read Shakespeare and the Bronte sisters. It is not because their writing was done simply for mass-market production. Some writing, like research papers or informational articles might be meant for mass production and consumption, and here, I can see Brandt’s point about reading and writing being a give and take relationship, This is a completely different type of writing and reading, and should be treated as such. Emailing, texting—these are types of writing, for personal, not mass consumption, which could be equated to writing in a journal. There is no give and take relationship here. News, journal articles—these don’t take, they give, and they are meant for informational purposes. This should not be put on the same playing field as good literature.

3 thoughts to “Writing to Read”

  1. You bring up some interesting points that I didn’t think about with some pieces of writing not being a “good or commodity.” Like you said, it depends more so on the context of the piece.

    I think Brandt brings up this concept of writing being a good because of the transition of writing. There are “professional” bloggers who make money from their own blogs, and because of this there are more and more people who are trying to emulate them. So, writing is becoming more like a good that people are trying to profit from.

    But like you said the main purpose of personal writing isn’t to make money, but I would argue that for some news articles that is the secondary purpose because it is their job to write.

  2. Hi!

    You bring up some fascinating points. First of all, I also had an issue with the fact that writing was seen as an economical good, rather than a moral one. I completely disagreed with that idea and agree with you that writing can move people to question their own motives, look at the world around them differently or even to find peace during a hard time.

    However, I wonder about your statement that texts, news and journalism don’t take, they just give. Isn’t every one of our thoughts formed by outside sources we’ve taken ideas from, even without realizing it or doing it consciously? For example, a text in which you say “Did you see that post? Lol.” is itself taking from texting trends, using an abbreviation (lol) you didn’t make up but got from someone else! News articles would be nothing if they didn’t have the actions or words of other people (whether a bombing, city council meeting or sports event) to report on . So in that way, I see it all as a give and take. Just some thoughts I had!! But, loved reading your post and really agree with you about the moral significance of writing!

  3. I like the differentiation you make between writing as a commodity and writing being “done for good.” There’s really a lot of truth to that. I so often think about words and the power they possess. The words people use depend on their culture, upbringing, background, and maybe even education. But they also allow people to communication with each other, convey feelings and emotions, or express thoughts. I like to think about the ways we use words differently than ever before. We speak in highlights–on social media, by email, or through text messaging. We’re so rushed now a day that we’ve learned to take words and strip them down to their core. I like that you separate this type of writing from the eloquent writing of authors and writers. Like you mention, I think it’s important to preserve this type of writing and refrain for equating it to 21st century writing.

Leave a Reply