Sunday, December 31, 2017

Alleviating the Writing Suffering of Others

Those of us who teach and who seek to reduce the cycle of suffering in writing instruction are on the path to becoming bodhisattva of writing.

Bodhisattva of writing 1.) acknowledge the suffering caused by mainstream writing education from future-oriented rhetoric and assignments; 2.)  realign each occasion of writing instruction and each writing experience so that each occurs in a present moment; and 3.) accept the uncertainty that comes from ways of teaching that do not pursue fixed outcomes and polished pieces of writing.

 Bodhisattva of writing willingly swap the traditional certainties of future-oriented thinking for impermanence and interconnection.

 Bodhisattva of writing know that the intrapersonal comes with many messes and imperfections but still seek out the intrapersonal, no longer kowtowing to hypothetical audiences of the hypothetical future.

 Bodhisattva of writing welcome not being in control and are happy to teach preverbal, prewriting, the fragmentary, nonverbal, and even no-writing.

 Bodhisattva of writing make these changes in their teaching because they know that writing calm and equanimity are infinitely more valuable learning outcomes than getting students to accomplish a perfect rhetorical analysis essay.

Most importantly, bodhisattva of writing turn to themselves to see the ways in which they suffer as writers. If we do not address how we suffer with our own writing, how we engage in mindlessness as writers, we will pass suffering on to our students, our friends, and our family.

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