Metawriting posts from the new blog location

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why Metawriting?

Quite simply that is what I plan to do in the blog -- write about writing.

Really, writing is probably only going to be a part of it as I will certainly be reflecting a great deal of the time about communication in general (as a technical communicator) as well as particular aspects of communication such as writing. In the interests of true accuracy I should have named the blog Metacommunication but I'm not sure I like that as much as I like Metawriting. Have to ponder I suppose...maybe see how things shake out? But enough blather about that.

The question is why metawriting -- why writing about writing? I used to think the main method to become a better writer was simply to write more. As I saw my students write more but not really progress and repeat mistakes, I began to question the old adage that practice makes perfect. This is because writing is more than a skill set or muscle memory -- writing is thinking. Yes, you need to write to become a better writer but that writing must be accompanied by thinking or you will not see the improvement you want. This is quite simply why metawriting is now a requirement in all my writing classes. I think the key to reflectively writing about your writing -- challenges, problems, successes, processes, etc. -- can help any writer at any level.

This blog is intended to focus on writing about writing (or communicating about communicating) in order to better understand writing as a writer, teacher, and researcher. I have worked as a professional writer for decades but I still sometimes struggle with certain writing tasks. I do not think you are ever DONE learning about writing or growing as a writer. Certainly I continued to need metawriting to help me learn and grow as a writer. Now my primary job is teaching writing to other writers as well as working with other teachers of writing to improve the teaching of writing. As a teacher of writing it is even more important that I understand how people learn to write and the problems and challenges involved in that process. Of course, while there is a growing body of research about how people learn to write, there are many questions remaining and that is why I am interested in conducting my own research on the subject as well.

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