Writing is Affirmative Synthesis

Writing is a form of communication. It is a physical creation that is composed of words, meant to be consumed by someone at some point. Brandt touched on this in a literal sense, that people sell their writing, or people are paid to produce writing, its part of their job description, etc. Ong’s message about audience lends itself to the fact that writing is in relation to consumption, without being necessarily commercial. After this it gets messy. In class a few people touched on how the word writing has different meanings based on if we think of writing as a verb (process) or a noun. These variations demonstrate the complexity of writing as a subject we seek to define. Brandt’s emphasis on writing as a form of labor, which I initially was hesitant to accept, seemed to show up in our gallery. All of the photos of products or ads or tickets.

Perhaps my favorite claim from the reading was that writing relates to the human condition. This is what writing has to do with me, and I guess everyone, as different forms of writing point to our different intersections with the world around us. The most interesting claim that I read, was that there is no such thing as natural writing, that writing is a convention. This gives writing a lot of freedom. It ties into the idea that writing is this organic form. It’s like a piece of clay, and you want to mold it into a specific form, and there are various techniques and tools you need to do that. Brandt revealed that writing is able. There is tremendous potential within writing. Thus, there are many forms (commercial, personal, etc) and many intersections (with graphic design, with screenwriting, etc). It’s also why it is subject to regulation and arbitrary rules created by editors and teachers. Writing is crafting words into a narrow field, despite the endless choices available to us.

What I’ve concluded, especially in response to what this has to do with me, is that writing is about affirmation. Ong and Brandt pointed out that there’s a permanence and an authority and validity to writing. It physically exists, and that alone is assertive. I love art, so I really value creation as a concept. Affirmation was a word that showed up in my aleatory writing piece, and was a major theme in my application. I guess I’m not surprising that I drew such a message from the reading.

Kennedy Clark

Kennedy is a Sociology major with an ineptness for exposition and an excessive love for Michigan basketball and pretzels.

2 thoughts to “Writing is Affirmative Synthesis”

  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog post, Kennedy. You touch on key points from the Ong and Brandt pieces and I actually feel more comfortable with my understanding of the content after hearing your point of view on each author’s argument.

    Additionally, your point about writing and the human condition was fascinating. I often find myself trying to “mold” my writing into a specific form and I find that that can sometimes be restricting. However, you point out that this molding process actually proves that writing gives us freedom to create. I suppose in a way writing (and its conventions) can both limit us and give us opportunities to explore ourselves and our beliefs. You summed it up perfectly in your line, “Writing is crafting words into a narrow field, despite the endless choices available to us.” That phrase resonated with me because it explores the dichotomy of writing. It is both narrow and expansive all at once.

    I love that you found a connection to the cut-up activity, and I am actually going to go back and look at the photo I sent Naomi to see if I had any overlap. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  2. Kennedy: I believe you are absolutely right when speaking on how writing is very often created for consumption by an audience, although not always with commercial purposes serving as the main intent. As you made swift point of noting, our modern products and their advertisements serve central roles in the evolution of what we today know as modern writing. As Ong made mention of, writing is inherently artificial, but moldable to the point where no two writers are exactly the same. On this point, I am a huge proponent for the incredible variations of style that every given writer possesses. Writing on its own is a magnificent skillset to retain, but the freedom we have to stylize our different forms of text communication makes writing an art form in and of itself. However, these same regulations you mentioned allow writing to also be honed within the classroom and other professional atmospheres, maintaining certain grammatical and structural conventions society adheres to.
    I very much enjoyed your post Kennedy, great work!

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