Now that you've *confessed* I don't feel so bad about my own
writing process(es), which are not pretty. Not only aren't they
like anything you'd find in a textbook, but they are just the
opposite (practically) of anything we might suggest to a student.
I don't freewrite, make trees or clusters, write any drafts (rough
or otherwise), or even really revise (at least not in any way I've
read about). I won't describe what I do (it's tooooooo torturous
to write about :) ), but I will say that my own experience makes me
a sympathetic tutor (and writing teacher too). There may be some one
out there for whom writing is not hard (make that extremely hard),
but that person is the exception.
I also agree that the writing situation in the classroom is
artificial -- you said you can revise but only after a few
weeks have gone by. Those I know who write as the most
significant part of their jobs may have to revise within
minutes or hours. My point is that asking our students to
by, say, next Monday reflects neither *real* writing situation.
And that only a small part of the artificiality problem.
I guess I have a question in here someplace -- isn't the
artificiality of writing in the classroom/for the teacher
part of CMC in general? hoping to give students opportunities
to write where they don't have to use their imaginations so
much to create writer/audience/topic?
Director, Tutoring Center
Bucks County Community College