Re: Freewriting

Beth W. Baldwin, PhD (bobaldwi@HAMLET.UNCG.EDU)
Tue, 23 Jul 1996 09:15:24 -0400

On Tue, 23 Jul 1996, Jane Lasarenko wrote:

> I suspect very few of us writing professionals practice what we
> preach. (It would really be an interesting study to collect our
> actual practices on the list. I'm not sure what kind of pedagogy
> we'd end up with from that.) But as professionals, we've already
> internalized so much of the process and product conventions, we
> probably don't need to break much of it down. We freewrite (if one
> ever does), draft, revise, proof, etc. as/when we first take fingers
> to keyboard.

While Nick (I think -- forgive me if that's the wrong citation!) doesn't
feel particularly guilty about practicing what he preaches, I do. I not
only want to practice what I preach but preach what I practice.

As Jane suspects that not many of us writing professionals practice what
we preach, so do I. And like Jane, I think that it would be a fascinating
and useful study to collect narratives of our writing practices. As a
matter of fact, I would say that this would be a wonderful project for a
real-life Rhetnet forum at a future CCCC. Let's imagine that we collect
these stories and study them, looking for patterns of practice and
similarites/differences between actual practice and contemporary theories
about writing instruction. IF we did discover major departures between
theory and practice, what would we DO about it? Would we recommend
changes in pedagogical practice? Would we be concerned about our failures
to practice what we preach or preach what we practice?

Personally, I chose to change my teaching practice and being preaching
what I practice.

Anyway, I think Jane has made a wonderful suggestion. What about this as
a group project? I think something like this could make us electronic
rhetors more visible (and more credible) to the established community.

Beth Baldwin
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Office of Continuing Education