I’ll be honest when I first heard about the Writing Center I was apprehensive about how useful it may be. I tend to write, as most people, in a silent area with all of my tools spread out on a desk, alone. More often than appropriate I’d type into the wee hours of the night, and then simply press print and go on my way. The key word of all of that is ALONE and maybe procrastination much?... At points I would have others read over my paper and correct some grammar issues and sentence structure but typically I did all of the correcting, or lack of correcting, on my own.
Until I scored this fantastic job as a tutor, I didn’t truly understand the benefits of being a social writer. So what does that even mean, a social writer, it seems to contradict itself. To be a social writer is to be able to talk about your writing. It’s a lot easier than you would think; I mean it’s YOUR writing. And let’s not be modest, we all love to talk about ourselves. It is a lot of fun to hear someone elaborate on their ideas and suggest ways to make their point more clear.
When I re-read my own papers it is easy to think that my point has been clearly addressed. This is because in my mind I have all the extra information that I have used to write the paper and I of course know what I am trying to say. When a fresh mind comes across my paper I may be surprised to find out that they are unable to see my point clearly. Communicating about my paper with someone who does not hold the information I have in their head allows them to be able to address where I may be able to make a point more clear. The beauty of this communication is that the point I was trying to make seems to rise from between the sentences on the page and I am better able to incorporate that point into those sentences.
Although a paper is never truly complete, without these conversations the point of my writing in the first place may never be adequately made. Because I have become open to communicating about my writing I am now unable to turn in a paper without this communication. Even though I still sometimes find myself under the wrath of procrastination, I always find time to read over my paper aloud with someone. Even just ten minutes of this allows me a confidence I have previously lacked in my writing.
I guess the point of this entire thing is to TALK; talk to friends, talk to family members, talk to a woman on the street! Talk to anyone! Just as long as you are not exclusively talking to yourself about your writing, you’re good and the improvement in the quality of your writing will be hard to ignore. Take turns TALKING; chat, communicate, vocalize, speak, argue (kindly of course), verbalize, voice, articulate, put into words… Be redundant, do it and then do it again! It’s fun! So one more time in case I didn’t make it clear enough TALK. I will now ask one of my fellow tutors to TALK about this writing with me to make sure I made my point to TALK clearly. Happy writing! :)
If you have to be agressive do it! Just so long as you talk about it afterwards!
By: Amanda Warren
I borrowed this comic from Hal Mayforth, more of his artwork is available here