Is anything inherent in writing?

When I think of writing, I think of what I am used to writing in school.  I think about research papers and analytical essays. I do not think of tweets, headlines, or schedules. More specifically, I think about creative words and coherent sentences, not short hand notes or abstract photography. Completing the “what counts as writing” assignment and reading what my classmates had to say opened my eyes to the importance of writing for disciplines that may not be academic.

A schedule, for instance, did not strike me as a typical or important form of writing. When I think writing I think sentences, and I definitely don’t use sentences in my schedule. My schedule- quite literally- runs my life. It tells me what I need to do, when I need to do it, and who I need to do it with. I hand write it, so it also serves as a doodle pad and a journal when I feel the need to get some thoughts down on paper. I never realized how important the actual writing on my schedule was until this assignment. I write in short hand, barely legible print that no one else could possibly understand, but I could not get through the day without it.  I don’t use sentences or punctuation, I make up words, and no one else would understand it, is it still writing?

The other post that stood out to me was the painting. A painting communicates the same way as, say, a persuasive essay or a narrative. The painter creates a piece of artwork to try and get across some sort of message- be it trying to convince viewers to believe something or to simply tell a story. But paintings have no words, so can they still be considered a form of writing?  In Enni’s post, she showed a mural that was created when words were not an option. But what about now? Are words inherent in writing? I definitely don’t have an answer, but it’s a question this assignment made me think about.

2 thoughts to “Is anything inherent in writing?”

  1. I really enjoyed you talking about shorthand as a form of writing. To me, short hand is the most important form of writing. Being able to write quickly, legible or not, is critical.

    Shorthand is everywhere. Taking notes in class can be much easier if a student can write notes in shorthand. You won’t have to scamper or be the awkward student to ask the teacher to slow down, or ask the professor to repeat themselves. As long as you can read your own writing, that’s all that matters. In the reporting world, shorthand is needed to write down quotes, but that’s only one of the ways it can be used.

    Now to your question, are words inherent in writing? My first thought is no, just because I feel that writing needs words. And while there is a compelling argument against that opinion, I’m more inclined to say painting isn’t writing, just a form of expression. Still, it’s a complicated question that certainly has grey area.

  2. Emily – really enjoyed your post. I just tried commenting and wrote out this whole thing out but then I lost internet and it all got lost. Not really relevant, but sorry if I sound really angry and frustrated (I am). Anyway, I can really relate to what you said about writing shorthand; I’ve tried to give friends notes from class before and they just always come back saying they can’t read a thing. Your post made me think that shorthand may actually be one of the most personal forms of writing out there – it’s usually for only yourself and unable to be read by others.

    (Side-note: I can’t believe I’m really writing this whole post again; I hate this.)

    Now to the second part of your post – can a painting be considered writing? My first instinct was no when I wrote about this the first time. Then I thought about it again, and my answer was still no. I’m inclined to agree with Jason and think that writing needs letters, words, or characters in some capacity. For example, I do not think a person could enroll in the minor in writing program and decide to paint a bunch of paintings – they would probably enroll in the art school and take painting classes. I do agree that sometimes the line between writing and art can be difficult to define, but I do think that it exists.

    Done. Again. Yay

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