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.

Organic writing

Writing is a craft that has been present in the world for thousands of years, with its definition becoming more ambiguous as time progresses. I believe, in a very simplistic manner, that writing is simply the expression of thoughts and ideas by etching them onto another surface. Even though these etches can take variety of forms, they all have one thing in common; each one has a single defined meaning or can be joined with others to obtain a meaning, regardless of the language. Looking at the class’s gallery of what counts as writing, all of the answers had some form of text in it, which I believe to be a crucial component of writing.

As for what writing has to do with me, I believe it to be an integral part of who I am today, leading me to disagree with the notion that writing is artificial, external, and alien in Ong’s piece. While it may appear that way in society today, with politicians having their written pieces being politically correct to prevent public wrath, there is still that desire to express one’s true thoughts in the written domain, to be genuine in the content that is written (at least, that’s how I feel about writing). I can understand the idea that learning to write is artificial, since there are various rules and regulations to master in order to communicate a thought or idea effectively. However, once they are mastered, the writer can start to truly become genuine in his or her writing, allowing that person to truly become a writer in the sense of the word.

In high school, my English teacher would often say that my writing was inorganic. To him, organic writing didn’t mean to try and comply with his standards in order to obtain a good grade. He would argue that this is not the point of writing, that it was about letting your thoughts flow freely without fear of regulation or backlash; otherwise, you can’t express what you want to express to the fullest extent. This belief ties in with my goal for the minor, where I want to be able to have my writing become inherently expressive of who I am without needing to make it feel artificial.