Re: Freewriting

Tue, 23 Jul 1996 13:19:36 -0500

I tend to agree with what Jeff is saying. I was one of the so-called
"expert writers" for Flower and Hayes. One of the elite ten!! There were
so many problems with the whole research project. Have you ever been
thrown into a closet with a light on, a table to sit at, and a recorder
going and given the instructions ... 'write about your job for Seventeen
magazine', and while you're doing it speak out loud all of your thoughts?
Well of course you have! Don't we all write this way .)>= What F&H were
attempting were prospective protocols. They were ... and I suspect still
are ... very suspicious of retrospective protocols, which is what most,
if not all of you are giving here. Such accounts are just as highly
problematic as F&H's approach. (F&H did that research a long time ago;
they are somewhere else now.)

However, I guess that the bottom line is ... Why are you 'interested' in
this project concerning freewriting or prewriting or the process
(processES)? I'm not sure that I understand Why. It would be important to
know Why. If it's for knowledge, I would be very careful. I knew shortly
after being an 'object' of study Why F&H wanted to do what they did _at
that point in time_. "Efficiency" was the tacitly present purpose! The
goal was efficiency in writing, in teaching w/riting. And in consuming
documents. Ideologically, I have always been against such a notion of
managing the writing processES. (Etc.) Which can be, Yes, rather
idiocyncratic for many people and at times for all of us.

Another point, as someone already said: There is a large body of
literature on this suggested project already available. Probably many of
you know this. I would second the previous suggestion that it be
carefully considered. There is a political reason for my suggesting that
homework be done and previous work be openly acknowledged! What might
that be?


On Tue, 23 Jul 1996, Jeffrey R Galin wrote:

> Beth wrote that we should be practicing what we preach more
> directly. I'm not so sure I agree, and this is why: Back in the
> eighties, Linda Flower and partners did a great deal of work to uncover
> how experts write to discover a system of apprenticeship for novice
> writers. While I understood the drive to do such work, I find it hightly
> problematic. When it come down to it, just about no one learns to do
> anything like experts do it. The fact that we are supposed to be
> "experts" at our craft of writing suggests that we have spent years
> struggling to define what processes work best for each of us. I am
> willing to bet that not a single one of us has the same writing process
> for the same kinds of work. In fact, I'm willing to bet that each of us
> has a repetoir of processes that we use depending on the medium, time
> constratins, purposes, audiences, and our moods.