Writing about writing.

vintage-lady-writing-at-desk-woman-50s-60s-retro1Writing can be hard to start. For example, when I have no prompt, like in this blog post, I don’t know where to start. I would say though that just typing and writing helps more ideas come into mind about writing, and remembering that you can always make edits later. Writing is such an incredible way to get a story or point across to your readers. But, you have to make it sound good enough to convince the reader to finish reading it. In English 101 we have read from authors that really know how to organize and create a read-able piece of work.

Robert Scholes, an author we’ve read from uses a strategy of what I would call weaving. He “weaves” common information with opinion; this creates a background for us so that we can understand his opinions. This background that he provides us with is a specific commercial that most people have seen, this also creates connectivity amongst the readers. And then he comes in to tell us that this image we all agreed with and understood as a community is false and twisted. And he tells us why. His idea path uses visual fascination as an intro and then comes in with his argument, and even explains further anticipating objections. This idea we get from his essay, “On Reading a Visual Text” is to always use critical analysis on anything we see, to question the media.
This idea is similar to Allison’s essay “This is Our World”, that art must provoke questions and cause uncertainty. Both of these essays share the idea of questioning and reality. Allison shares with us that, “The world is meaner than we admit, larger and more astonishing. Strength appears in the most desperate figures, tragedy when we have no reason to expect it.” Allison sees the reality, even when it’s cruel, in life. Scholes believed that the media sugar coated life, making it seem like “we were all in this together” positive attitude, when in reality life is not like that. That it’s the American Dream that we all shoot for, and hope so bad that it is the truth. These essays both share with us the same idea, but they both use different strategies to get us there. Allison uses a personal childhood memory to get us thinking about the way art makes us feel, where Scholes uses a popular commercial that we have all seen.
I can’t define writing; I’ve read and wrote so many different kinds that all make me feel a different way. There’s poetry, music, descriptive, informal, persuasive, and probably a million more. And I cant say what strategies are the best and which ones wont work to grab my reader because everyone connects to different things, and that’s why when you read something that you really understand, you love it. And it sticks with you throughout your life, like the Jesus painting in Allison’s childhood did for her. And we can use these essays to better-read visual texts.
Writing is a battle of choosing the right words, and using organization skills like these authors used very well. Their idea path was different, but it’s interesting how they got to similar places, isn’t it?
I hope that in these next posts on my blog, you will see a difference in my writing skills, and will see new concepts of writing intertwined into my own thinking. Brainstorming isn’t so hard; you just have to get started, even if in the beginning you don’t know what you’ll end up talking about.

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3 thoughts on “Writing about writing.

  1. I really like the term you use of “weaving”. I think it was a good word to describe what is happening in the stories we read. It is possible to see how Alison does this as well when she moves from one story to the next but you can still see how they connect to each other. And, like you said, you can see how Scholes weaves together his own ideas into that of the commercial.
    I noticed how Scholes was presenting a different way to look at a commercial, but I’m not sure if he really explained it all. I felt like there were some points were he presented an idea that was a bit opened- ended and expected the reader to see it for themselves. He would connect his ideas back to the beer advertisement, but then seemed to let the reader decide for themself how it worked with the advertisement. He didn’t lay everything out about the commercial.
    You pointed out how Alison shows how the world is a crueler place than we would like to think and that Scholes think the world sugar-coats life. So do you think that Alison is a fulfillment of what Scholes wanted? Does Scholes believe media misrepresents culture and Alison tries to represent it accurately? I got the impression that Scholes was saying that we can learn about culture, both positive and negative, through what we see in advertisements. Though, I would agree that Alison is trying to paint an accurate picture of how she sees the world.

  2. I agree with Ruth, I think your term “weaving” was spot on. Both Scholes and Allison do this in their writing but with a little twist of their own. Allison talks about all the different situations in her life and how they all connect to how she now portrays art. Whereas Scholes takes a common, well known commercial, that everyone can relate to and connects it to something deeper like racism.
    Although both authors agree on the terms that art can be very powerful and how important it is to be very critical about art and the purpose and objective about it, I feel that Scholes has more of a harsher view on art. His writing style was very good at getting his ideas across in a elegant and clear manner, but, I felt that he was saying all art in general is no good and we should all have a critical mind set toward it. Whereas Allison shares her love and interest for art and leads the reader through some of her life stories and allows the reader to connect more with her.

  3. Putting words on a page is the hardest thing to do sometimes. For me getting started is the worst. I draft in my head, thinking through ideas for far too long before I start to really connect them and get them on the page. I’m trying to learn to be better at writing in moments. Writing a paragraph even if I haven’t written what comes before it or what comes after it yet. Then it’s really about weaving, and about designing that idea path for your reader so that they can follow where you lead.

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