Thanks to Rich, Ikea, Sarah, and Mary.
I’ll try to think through several of these issues–and imagine a way of framing writing as natural and writing as academic–I’m thinking of my friend, Mary here.
I’ll say this about writing instruction (and I’m replying to Mary): if the way you are framing writing tasks and responses results in impelled writing, you’re on. If it’s writing as struggle (John Bean–may God forgive him), you’re off.
Like Rich and Jan, I’m so much into writing as pleasure, as a way of materializing who we are and how we relate to those around us. If writing (a ghost for living) is a struggle, I think we’re creating a destructive educational environment. I’m personal here: I have used writing as a way of understanding myself and how I relate to others. I think students like to use writing like this–and find out about who the others are, a knowledge that feeds back into our self-discovery.
So . . . if what you are doing is creating positive experiences for writing, you’re doing the right thing. If you’re not, you’re not. Ask your students and you’ll get a hint.