During this chapter, I was particularly drawn to a quote from Shirley Rose’s essay “All Writers Have More to Learn” which reads, “Often, one of the first lessons writers learn, one that may be either frustrating or inspiring, is that they will never have learned all that can be known about writing and will never be able to demonstrate all they do know about writing”(59). First of all, I think myself and many others would agree that this was a lesson we did not learn until we were older. To me, this is an extremely important lesson for students to realize this at a young age when they are learning about writing. Further, as the quote indicates, I am inspired by this concept as I believe it fosters a positive and beneficial community of learning. There are some writers who may have specialties in grammar, some may be proficient in punctuation, and others may have that are not as technical. No matter the expertise, all of these writers can learn from one another to become better writers in the end.
Another inspirational aspect of writing is the fact that we embrace failure. Well, we may not all necessarily “embrace” failure, but writers understand that to write something you are proud of, you usually have to start with something you hate. Collin Brooke and Allison Carr make note of this in their essay “Writing Can Be an Important Part of Writing Development,” by pointing out, “One of the most important things students can learn is that failure is an opportunity for growth”(63). This idea, that it is okay to fail, is paramount for students to understand, because this, paired with the concept that we can never learn everything about writing, allows the student so much freedom with writing. They should be able to feel like they can try things to see if they work with their writing. They do not have to be perfect. They will never be perfect, and that is okay. Brooke and Carr note the consequences of students be afraid of failure in their essay. They write, “They focus instead on what the teacher wants and simply hope to be able to get it right on the first try” (63). This, unfortunately, leads to uninspired and not very unique writing in the classroom.
It has become increasingly obvious throughout the duration of this class that the study of writing is nearly impossible to define. Questions regarding what “good” writing is, or how to best teach writing have become progressively unclear. And, after reading this weeks threshold concept “All Writer Have More to Learn,” the very idea of someone being better at writing than another is beginning to seem like a foreign concept. However, these uncertainties and debatable topics about writing have not confused me about the subject; instead, these ideas have enlightened me to the fact that, due to the speculative nature of writing, it is a field of study that everyone can succeed and benefit from.
Rose, Shirley. “All Writers Have More to Learn.” Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies, edited by Linda Adler-Kasner and Elizabeth A. Wardle, Utah State University Press, 2016, pp. 59.
Brooke, Collin, and Carr, Allison. “Writing Can Be an Important Part of Writing Development.” Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies, edited by Linda Adler-Kasner and Elizabeth A. Wardle, Utah State University Press, 2016, pp. 63.
Hurt, Frank and Hurt, RaeLea. “The Two States of Every Writer.” Frank and RaeLea, 9 December, 2016, https://frhurt.com/the-two-states-of-every-writer/.