Writing as Complex Interaction

There is little question that the art of writing provides our modern world with a critical means of communication, one in which we employ each day. When speaking on our recent “What Counts as Writing” class activity, many of our entries provoked the various forms writing could take on, in relation to the true definition of modern writing and genre. The details of this assignment had been made clear, and it was my understanding that our class did an incredible job searching the web for what we believed, as individuals, counts as “writing”. The examples our class drew from attained various results, and as a class we attempted to argue that anything from iMessages to an assortment of McDonald’s coupons fit the bill when we attempted to define what writing is in the modern world. In addition, I enjoyed and was surprised by several other examples on what our class defined as writing, including but not limited to lyrics and musical notation, as well as a given comments section on YouTube. I believe we did a fantastic job in this research effort as a class, and I would ultimately say that my own personal views of the ways in which art (such as poetry) fits into a genre of writing were altered as well. I came to this conclusion: The human effort and technical skill needed to create a successful, imaginative, and interactive work of art, can be related rather closely to the effort and technical skill placed in a given work of writing.

In addition, my goals for the Minor continue to increase in scale as we build our way through class activities and individual assignments. I’m very much looking forward to what’s coming next in the Writing 220 curriculum, and beyond.

Henry Khederian

Student, Resident Advisor, Mentor. University of Michigan, Class of 2017.

2 thoughts to “Writing as Complex Interaction”

  1. I definitely agree, Henry, that our class did a fantastic job searching for our own personal answers to the question, “What counts as writing”. Furthermore, your conclusion that “the human effort and technical skill needed to create a successful, imaginative, and interactive work of art, can be related rather closely to the effort and technical skill placed in a given work of writing” is spot on, in my opinion. I think a key aspect is the effort and act of creating that distinguishes writing from speech, as we discussed in class today. Like you, I found it especially thought-provoking that song lyrics and musical notation were considered writing. Before this class, I would have considered them to be separate from writing, perhaps falling under the broader category of “art”. However, after hearing all of the points that our classmates brought up, I firmly believe that lyrics and notation count as writing.

    I can’t wait to read more of your blog posts!

    1. I was initially convinced that the musical notation was writing. You “write” music. It’s basically just another language. But for some reason now, I am caught up on it fitting into that category. I think broadly it definitely is writing. However, as someone who is not musically inclined and can no longer read music, it’s hard for me to think of its message being that effecting. Its very limited to imagined sounds, and I can’t do any of that. That doesn’t mean it isn’t writing though. I guess utility is what gets me. I think it’s interesting that we all have these different inclinations regarding what we are more or less likely to think of as writing. Perhaps our gallery was so great because it was as diverse as its creators.

      As someone who also draws, I’d agree with the same statement Caroline pulled out regarding human effort and technical skill. I’ve gotten into legitimate debates about music, and visual art, and performing art, and how they differ and it was very heated. I think I’d be interesting to expand on those ideas, almost from a research point of view. Seeing how people characterize their labor, their creation, and their experience would really be insightful.

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