Friday, November 16, 2012

Life Writing: A Bridge Between Writers and Researchers

Hello, writers.

If you check this website often, you will undoubtedly noticed a lack in activity. Ryan, Emily and I have been tangled in work and personal obligations, but hopefully as the semester winds down we'll be making more regular posts here.

Anway, on to the post!

As a rhetoric studies person (the only one at 12Writing), I spend most of my time looking at other people's writing instead of creating my own texts. I tend to think less about aesthetics and more the work that writing does in the world. If you think it seems strange that I am working on a creative writing website, you wouldn't be wrong.

Traditionally, the was an invisible wall between rhetoric studies and creative writing studies in the academic world and often this wall extended outside of the university to artist and researchers outside of academia. This wall has been breaking down in recent years as interdisciplinary studies and hybrid writing gains popularity, but old habits die hard, as the saying goes. This habit is the reason for my post today.
Boundaries between disciplines create limits on the knowledge we can gain from each other. Seeing another group as an adversary accomplishes nothing productive. As people who have dedicated their lives to the English language, through research and textual production, we should be working together.

And through my research of genre and my experience of the creative writing world, I am of the opinion that life writing can finally dismantle the lingering animosity between the different academic schools of writing. Because it is a creative genre, it appeals to creative writers and because it depends so heavily on personal narrative and recollection, it also appeals to rhetoricians. It is also an easily accessible genre which can appeal to many different people, as poetry and fiction can seem intimidating.

If people from many different situations and writing abilities attempt life writing and share their writing expereince, we can learn valuable information about how the mind works when it creates a text. So I encourage you to try out life writing if you haven't already and to share the results of your effort with the world.

Try checking out Life Writers Forum, a forum specifically for life writing. You can post stories, read other people's stories, ask questions, and share your writing experiences. There are also links to several blogs dedicated to the art of life writing. Share your writing experiences with others. You could possibly advance our knowledge of how and why people write which could do wonders for how we teach and learn to craft a world with words.

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