I wanted to begin the first major writing assignment with something more creative, something that could “loose them up” to writing. We have already done a few low-stakes writing assignments and it has significantly helped them think upon their own writing, as well as having given them potential forms to take up for the assignment. We have and are continuing to look at creative non-fiction pieces which is proving excellent in improving their analytic skills and overall ability to assess writing. So, I am excited to see the ways in which they take to the personal essay form since through class we have identified how the personal essay is both analytic and creative.
Interesting to note, a lot of my students have expressed interest in writing more creatively, too. So I hope this will help hone their own writing goals for the course.
One of my major goals for this assignment, as well as the rest, are to see if as a class we can weld together the idea that writing, no matter analytical or creative, is always an act of creative output, is always a mode of creation. Many of the students have expressed, verbally, as well as through writing, that creative and analytic writing are different forms. In other words, they have noted how the two are mutually exclusive forms. I want to challenge them on that. This challenge seems to interest them and has honestly pushed them to re-imagine their own approach to writing. I’m excited to see where this will lead.
Also, my discussion topic for class has altered, slightly. The questions emerging in class around what is creative and what is analytic have really inspired me to think on creative writing, pedagogy, and the racial imaginary. I found that many of the ways in which we got to that slippery territory of not being able to determine whether “good” writing is analytic, creative, or both, was particularly when we discussed writers of color. This uncertainty about whether there needs to be a distinction between the two has been extremely generative not only for their own writing and thinking, but my own. I’m indebted to their incite and want to see if I can continue fostering these ideas through doing my topic on this.