Wobbling as a Writer and the Pose

As a writer I tend to wobble a LOT. I really only have a strong ‘pose’ in academic writing, were facts are the scripture, and I run around like a profit connecting facts and details with thoughts that I have. Even within these writings I wobble some, for example: sometimes research is hard to do, the facts don’t line up, you can’t find ANYTHING that has to do with your topic, and when you encounter things like this your writing tends to wobble a little. When I come across moments like these, I “fake it ’till I make it,” I do my best to find legitimacy, and relevance between things, and I tend to not linger on those particular bits in my writing so that I can get back into my safe pose as an academic writer.

As a future teacher, I don’t think I’ll have a lot of trouble wobbling with my students, maybe we’ll even do the dance just to signify that it’s OK to not always be perfect, because not only can your teacher not dance AT ALL, but even she struggles with writing sometimes. I think it’s important for students to see that their teacher is an imperfect human who even needs help herself sometimes. I think even an exercise where the teacher writes a less that acceptable paper and students help to revise and comment on what should be done to make it better and provide positive and constructive criticism could be a great exercise in accepting the wobble and working with it until you find the pose you want.

The only true risk, is that your students may laugh at you a little, but it will be good, because they will reflect on their own writing, and will benefit from the experience of wobbling together.

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5 thoughts on “Wobbling as a Writer and the Pose

  1. I can agree – academic writing can be easier to manage. I think this is primarily do to our familiarity with it because we have been writing academically since we could remember. It’s the other stuff that’s hard because we haven’t practiced as much and our experience is limited.

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    1. Just reading this blog, I can tell you are a really amazing writer. I actually find academic writing to be incredibly stressful, because I find myself confused and irritated with the structure most of the time. The fact that it is not as challenging for you is awesome, so keep up the great work!!

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  2. I like that you mention the assignment where you work with your class on something you are writing. That will effectively make them feel good about themselves and better about you being a real human. I had a long- term substitute teacher for a while who was working on a book and she gave us a draft and asked us what she could improve on. It made us, the AP English class, feel really confident in our writing ability. We also helped her title the book. “Miss?” by Laurel Mchargue (if you were curious :)). I think the important thing it’s to not have your students laugh at you, but with you.

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    1. I wonder what would have happened if schools had focused less on five-paragraph-essays and more on narratives, poems, and independent reading. I feel like we would have been better equipped to branch out as writers and would have had the encouragement to try new “poses.” But right now it seems like academic writing is the primary type that students need to utilize in order to succeed.

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  3. Jaile, because I’m a hoarder, I still have some of the papers i wrote in college (heck, probably from high school even). When I taught my high school students how to revise–and I mean *really* revise, not just correct spelling–I made copies of one of my essays, and we revised it together. They enjoyed seeing how I wobbled has a high school writer and learned something about revision at the same time. Now, if you added a wobble-dance to that, life couldn’t get any better.

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