My professor told me to think about this question this semester: What is writing?
Is it a facebook status? Is it a lab report? Is it a quick write in class? Is it the novel I’m reading or the short story I’m working on? Is it all of these things?
I just read a lot of Post-structuralism theory and they call into question everything, including “what is an author?” The main question seems to be what authority does an author maintain on their text? I’m writing this blog post and sending it out into the internet and it does become something of it’s own in a lot of ways. You dear reader, can agree or disagree or question or praise or destroy anything I put on this blog. I can respond to you. So what?
I don’t know how to answer the questions raised.
What is writing? Right now, I see writing as thinking. Thinking is intimately linked to rhetoric. Rhetoric is in everything. Everything you do or say makes an argument. Writing is the same. Whether you’re telling a story, writing a poem, drafting a criticism, or doing this week’s lab report, you are making a choice that says something about how you see the world. The clothes you wear and the books you carry around say something about who you are. While I don’t have a definition for what writing is necessarily, I think I can speak to what writing does: it gives the writer a voice in the discourse of their choosing. Even if you write for yourself and say you do not care what others think, you are making a choice that reflects how you see writing. Writing gives voice. Every piece of writing is in a way, claiming a spot in a conversation.