writing prod

Posted by Daniela Elza on Nov 14 2008

Here, for those of you who keep complaining you are not motivated enough, like to procrastinate with your writing (instead of precrastinate), or just end up struggling with that pesky editor in your head, Dr. Wicked has a cure for you. Check out his Write or Die: Putting the Prod in Productivity tool. Especially those of you who are committed to the nanowrimo this month, or would like to start now (for unmentionable reasons). This might just get you there in half the time.

They have also the young writers’ program which my daughter took on as a challenge a couple of years ago, when she was 10 or so. I am not sure if she finished the novel (almost did, but the ending was giving her some trouble), but she did a lot, and that got her going on a “better” one. The one thing she did not agree with was going for quantity instead of quality. Yet, it may be almost impossible to get her to do that writing for school. Why?

“In our day the intensification of consciousness, in the form of techniques of meditation and the like, has become heavy industry. I have been somewhat puzzled by the extent to which this activity overlooks or evades the fact that all intensified language sooner or later turns metaphorical, and that literature is not only the obvious but the inescapable guide to higher journeys of consciousness.” —Northrop Frye

(from Words with Power: Being a Second Study of the Bible and Literature)

What is wrong with the way we teach literature, and I would say especially poetry, that puts people off it for life, and they may not read a book for the rest of their life after they leave school?

Is it because we are so concerned with the form that we forget the essence, the passion that gets people writing in the first place? The need to say something before getting passionate about how we say it? After all, a tool is only useful and appealing when we can see what it can do for us. Even such a basic thing as handwriting that is explicitly taught in school, is important as a means to express oneself clearly, not as an end to be pursued, in itself.

Just wondering if the institutionalized public school tentacled monstrocity we have created is becoming its own worst enemy? How to re-evaluate? How to stop the grind of such huge bureaucracies that turn blind just from their sheer size. And affect the lives of both teachers and students? Let alone lack of shared vision? Is there only one way to dance?

Children are not bored. We teach them to be.

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