Re: Shop Talk

Mon, 22 Jul 1996 20:47:35 -0400

In response to Alice and Eric's use of email as a heuristic for dissertating,
I'd like to add my two cents--along with another nickel about this whole
freewriting discussion.

What difference does it make what we call what we do when we write? I, along
with Alice (we are both doing our PhD at the same institution--Hi,
Alice!), are plugging along on our dissertations. I have not used email
as extensivley as Alice apparently has but I do notice that my messages
to my director have been wonderful "seed beds" of thinking and writing. In
fact, I have taken some of what I have written and put it whole cloth into
a chapter.

Do I use freewriting when I start a project? Sometimes yes/sometimes no--
sometimes I jot down a rough outline, sometimes I draft in my head,
sometimes I take what I had thought was pretty "tight" text and end
up throwing it out and starting over. What is important is that I honor
whatever process gets me writing--and I try to pass what I know about
writing (from my perspective as a practicing writer) on to my students.

I try to make them aware that there isn't *one* way to start writing,
although I may share various heuristics with them so that they can
use them if their current process isn't working.

As for "the Jensen stuff" we are having a discussion on the list for
those of us who see legitimacy in using MBTI (in differing forms) in
the writing classroom even as I write this message. Again, what we
can learn from that discussion adds to our perspective as writing teachers
and writers, just as understanding something about learning styles (our
own and our students).

Ruth Overman Fischer
English Dept
George Mason Un
Fairfax VA