A misguided audience-
“I’m a writer”
“Oh, what do you write?”
“Freelance and fiction.”
“Oh well I haven’t read a book in years,” he shrugs and looks off into the distance already at a loss for what else to say in this conversation. He gradually disconnects and makes an excuse to talk to someone else.
I’ve met this person a hundred times when they ask me what I do. Always the same answer, books, books, books but so many ignorant people out there don’t know that writing has long ago transformed from merely books. With the surge of social media and the existence of so many media platforms online, we have been given the opportunity to redefine writing as a whole and give it a broader sense of being. Our understanding of the world is growing and broadening due to the availability of information through the internet and social media. But the audience, their perception is still the same even though writing has morphed to fit with the changes. Even if print media one day becomes a relic of the past, writing itself will live on and outlive many of the mediums it has been used on. Just think about the first forms of writing on papyrus, or even flick forward to the typewriter. Those mediums are now obsolete, writing is not.
If I am a writer, it does not mean that I write books or articles, it doesn’t even do justice for blogging and content providing on the internet. Writing these days has broadened in its definition and we are all writers whether we know it or not. In this ever changing media landscape we are all writers and creators and innovators.
The list that is writing continues to grow and move.
Jodie Nicotra in her academic essay on Folksonomy and the Restructuring of Writing Space calls for a change in our definition of writing, on the ways in which we are taught writing and what it means for us in the future.
She calls our original definition for writing “linear” and claiming that they “no longer fit the dynamic.” I agree that writing has taken on a whole new meaning and a greater influence in our lives and because of our narrow perception of writing we don’t give it the credit it deserves.
Imagine our old world view of writing as 2-dimensional. We write on paper, on a computer and we see our work before us or in a book. Simple, as it always was.
Now imagine that the new writing definition we are searching for and even longing for is 3-dimensional. By redefining its meaning and its uses and lessening the restrictions we associate with it we are also allowing writing and its singular purpose to encapsulate everything around us. Yes we write but through changing mediums we no longer just produce one set of work but co-author and contribute to other works by opinions and guest-blogging and re-tweeting. We have become a hive mind of a singular idea that is the internet and we are all writers in it.
The true meaning of writing is well translated by Johndan-Eilola when he states it’s about “making connections: between writer and readers, across time, and through space.” This is still true but we cannot focus all our writing attention to one medium, in fact even one author is still too narrow a definition. Writing is no longer personal and private but public and shared and collaborated and seen by the masses not just other academics.
It’s hard to touch on a subject just briefly when it is so vast,
I don’t think this will be my last post on this;
I have included Jodi Nicotra’s essay here which also touches on the need to redefine writing.
But I didn’t exactly want to ramble on indefinitely so I”ll be putting more thoughts to this later on.