Daily Archives: April 4, 2015
Sketched in Procreate on an iPad.
Writing. I find it ironic that the thing that is the hardest for me to do—write—is how I make my living.
Be careful what you ask for.
In the interest of improving my craft, I read books about writing. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, How to Write a Sentence: and How to Read One, Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep them Engaged and recently I discovered Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age.
Note: I find it painfully bizarre that Kindle will not let you cut and paste text.
For the past several years, I’ve taught a class at the University of Pennsylvania called “Uncreative Writing.” In it, students are penalized for showing any shred of originality or creativity. Instead, they are rewarded for plagiarism, identity theft, reproducing papers, patch writing, sampling, plundering, and stealing. Not surprisingly, they thrive. Suddenly, what they’ve surreptitiously become expert at is brought out into the open and explored in a safe environment, reframed in terms of responsibility instead of recklessness.
Each semester for their final paper, I have them purchase a term paper from an online paper mill and sign their name to it, surely the most forbidden action in all of academia. Each student then must get up and present the paper to the class as if they wrote it themselves, defending it from attacks by the other students. What paper did they choose? Is it possible to defend something you didn’t write? Something, perhaps, you don’t agree with? Convince us. All of this, is technology-driven. When the students are writing class, they are told that they must have their laptops open and connected. And so we have a glimpse into the future.
Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age, Kenneth Goldsmith
I love this sort of thinking. Inspiring.