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Why Do I Write?

with 4 comments

Reading Charles Bazerman’s Handbook of Research on Writing (NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008) makes me think about exactly what I am doing when I write. The very first page spells it out:

“A world in which we read but don’t write is a world in which we do not have primacy agency. To gain direct agency it is necessary to be able to write, to produce the texts that will reach out to others, that will interact with others and influence them, that will mark our interests and perspectives in the literate world. It is by writing that we inscribe our place in the literate world and all the social systems that depend on literacy.”

This seems exactly right and is the motivation behind much of my own writing. I write because writing is a way of interacting with the world. When I write I am synthesizing information as well as responding to what the world throws my way. And beyond that, I write about things that are not yet important to others. I write hoping they will become important.

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Written by kirkistan

December 3, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. Very true, Kirk. That’s a nice quote, although I find it a little mechanical.

    I feel the same way you do about writing and moreover, writing is something I need to do, not only to convey information, but to put words out there, somewhere in collective space.

    Then there’s the whole writing for money versus writing what we really want to write, but that’s why we blog isn’t it? =P

    ksewell

    December 8, 2009 at 5:11 pm

  2. ksewell: thanks for your comment! I always thought getting paid to write would be the best of all worlds. As a professional copywriter, it is great to get paid to write. But that is only one small dimension. The total picture has to include writing to learn, writing to influence, writing to create. And writing to serve, which has been on my mind lately.

    kirkistan

    December 8, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    • “The total picture has to include writing to learn, writing to influence, writing to create. And writing to serve, which has been on my mind lately.”

      Is what you wrote above coming from a copywriter perspective, as in parts of our profession, or coming from an overall writing point of view?

      ksewell

      December 9, 2009 at 6:23 pm

      • More from an overall writing point of view. But when I create and when I find opportunities to serve, both have an impact on my copywriting.

        kirkistan

        December 9, 2009 at 7:29 pm


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