Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Think I'm Contradicting?

I was worried today that I may not have a big revelation that I am used to having throughout my experience at the Writing Project. It was not until 2:00pm that I had my big break through today. There were some mini thoughts and ideas (especially ones that I would use in my classroom: like our mapping an essay; or Kim's wonderful demo pointers) that came through, but it was in Ben's demo that my full revelation slapped me in the face. Revelation for Day 7: **There is bad writing.** 

The start of my day!
I feel as though I say that revelation with a sense of calm. There is bad writing...and then there is horrible writing. I would say bad writing would be forgetting the "rules" of writing and grammar. Sure, you can get your point across in writing without capitalizing letters, adding correct punctuation, and even mixing up your words' order a little (that's bad writing). But then there is horrible writing...That consists of missing the above "rules" and then totally not getting your idea across (this writing I think is rarely seen...but still happening). In Ben's demo today we were given multiple pictures for a period of time and told to write a sentence about each one as if they were in a story:

My one-line stories.
After writing all of our sentences we then circled our favorite three. Then Ben told us to write about one sentence (you would think it would be one we liked right? No, he told us to pick our weakest one!) as though it were an entire story. We had to expand on our worst sentence. Not only did we have to expand on the bad sentence, Ben wanted us to write bad (No...I'm being serious...he wanted us to write a story badly!). So that is what I did...

That's a little rough!
After we shared our ridiculous stories compiled of bad writing, I really got to thinking... Now those thinking's take me back to my post a couple days ago about grammar and overall good writing. By writing bad...aren't you really thinking about what good writing is? Because you are trying to do the opposite? By understanding what to put in bad writing, aren't you understanding what good writing is? Therefore, if you know what "rules" to break in order to create bad writing, then aren't there technically "rules" to good writing? I know I blogged about how rules are schmules...but I have to say that rules do exist. They couldn't not exist. Therefore, my revelation today is that there is bad writing...and therefore, there must be rules for good writing. I think that's pretty smart thinking, if I do say so myself?

Now time to get a jump on some homework for our accelerated Master's classes that are being crammed into a Second Summer Session at Appalachian State University. Trust me...I'll share when it's all complete!

Until tomorrow.... :)


  1. I have that same thought about the revelations each day. I'm okay with maybe not getting one idea or thought each day because I've already had so many...but dern if I don't get that aha moment every day. It's pretty exciting!

    I love the combination of Ben and Kendra's ideas together.

  2. I liked Ben's demo, too. It certainly gives us permission to write and to not worry about what we are writing.

  3. Sarah,
    Really interesting blog. I have the tendency to agree that there is bad writing; however, I also think we judge on relative scales. When I grade a paper, I don't feel as confident about how I've graded the first 15 as I do the last 15: this is because of the relative judgments I make from paper to paper. Just thinking out loud:)