What to Post About

meme of cat staring at keyboard with writer's blockI like to think that there’s a variety of types of writing. They run a long a spectrum and you’ve most likely done the writing at both ends. At one end is what I call academic writing. That’s what you’ve done for years in school. It’s all those essays, research papers, lab reports, term papers, and, yes, even those 1-3 paragraph things you post on some Desire2Learn forum in response to your professor’s “prompt”. Academic writing tends to be formal. It tends to be dry. It’s primarily you responding to some topic or prompt or trigger or question your professor posed. You’ve got limited ability to talk about what you want to talk about (yes, I know every professor says “write about what interests you as long it’s about this topic” — how’s that supposed to work?).  What’s more, the writing assignment is disposable. Professor assigns. You write. Professor reads (yes, we do read them). Professor grades. End of life for the written piece. I’m right with the cat for academic writing. It produces anxiety because it’s likely being graded – grammar and spelling count! And then it’s read once and disappears! What kind of nonsense is that? You’re expected to write drafts and then re-write. You’re expected to adopt a persona or voice. And don’t get me started on footnotes. I don’t know about you, but academic writing tends to really give me writer’s block.

I hear you. You’re feeling a little like the cat.  What to write? What to post?  This course, I hope, is different. I hope this is a social course. Continue reading