Writing Becomes Fun Again

After reading the excerpts from Ong and Brandt and looking at the gallery compiled by our class of what constitutes as writing, I’ve come to a rather abstract conclusion. I still firmly believe that writing is not defined by written text alone, and to me, it’s a language that comes in various forms. Although after our discussion in class I found that some may disagree, I believe that any sort of compilation of work can, and does, constitute as a form of writing. Looking at the media gallery constructed by our class, the things individuals classified as writing ranged from something as controversial as a photo with no text to a seemingly middle ground of text/image compilations to examples as concrete as a purely written note.

Noting that most of our class comes from various backgrounds of every major and previous academic experience, it didn’t shock me that there was some disagreement amongst the group in terms of what counts as writing. I didn’t expect a Pre-Med major to perceive a painting as writing. Based off of my own preconceived notions and judgements, I unfairly assumed that because of the concrete, science-minded academic culture they’ve been entrenched in for the past two years, individuals of this breed wouldn’t be able to conceive the idea that something as obscure as a painting could count as writing. However it shocked me that others of more liberally academic backgrounds felt the same way. Many didn’t think a painting constituted as writing at all, and in fact, it seemed that most of our class agreed there had to be some text involved for something to count as writing. Is it because of the rigidity of our previous academic experience that most of us feel this way? As a Communications major I’ve spent the past two years of my college experience writing to analyze, argue and synthesize, as most of us have. I, as well as others, am fully aware that all of these things constitute as writing, but maybe the fact that I’ve spent so long doing all of these things is why I’m now yearning for a more open-ended of idea of what does count as writing. I think, even if it’s not (although I don’t really believe there is a correct answer), I want what constitutes as writing to be more open-ended than what I’ve been used to my entire college experience because for me, that’s why I love to write.

As noted in the Brandt reading, “Several people that I interviewed made analogies to the arts in describing their workplace writing, highlighting inventiveness and perspective taking often associated with painting, sculpting, filmmaking, fiction writing” (Brandt, 155). As noted in the reading, even in the professional world, writing can be as equally expressive as a painting. So, in my opinion, it’s a simple connection that not only can writing be like a painting, but it doesn’t feel far-fetched to say that painting is writing. Looking at what I enjoy as a writer, the array of examples in our media gallery and pulling from the reading, my goals for the minor in writing have become pretty clear to me. I want writing to be fun again. I would love to express myself, entertain others and weave in various media forms to convey messages. I think that throughout this course and the minor as a whole, I’ll have the opportunity fulfill these wants. Hopefully the minor will allow me to grow as an expresser and as a learner, so that all of the work I produce is something I feel is creative, but not too abstract. I feel like the minor will allow me to grow my creativity projected in my writing, hopefully making what I produce more powerful because of it. I want writing to be open-ended because I want writing to be fun again.

Rebecca Soverinsky

Rebecca is a Junior (please send help for her mental state in accepting this and a walker for her aging body) studying Communications at the University of Michigan. She believes award show season is the best season (shout out to E! News) and is always willing to take on a challenge or learn something new- as long as there is Nutella involved. She hopes to learn as much as she can from the Sweetland Minor in Writing, and she's excited to see what's in store.

2 thoughts to “Writing Becomes Fun Again”

  1. Dear Becca,

    I really liked what you said in discussing the fact that we all come from very different backgrounds. Not only do all of the students in our class study different subjects from communications, to biology, to political science, but we were all raised in different ways as well. Thus, I too thought it was interesting to see the way each of us interpreted the idea of writing in different ways. I personally think that words written on a painting should still be considered “writing” for all intensive purposes. No matter what the medium, the written word has the power to tell stories, or shift thought.

  2. Hey Becca! I thoroughly enjoyed how you begin your post by stating that form should not define what constitutes writing; as long as it is expressive of something, it can be listed under as writing. This notion really resonated with me, as our understanding of what writing is never static. It constantly changes with new ideas and ways to express ourselves, and as a result of that, there is a need to be open-minded towards this topic. Another particular component that I enjoyed was your goal for the minor: to have fun. Often, in the pursuit to do academically well, we forget to enjoy what we write. This prevents us from being content with what was written and more so fixated on what grade it received, resulting in a grading system that I believe should be reformed.

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