Real Writing


My e-mail isn't going out right for some reason, and as I was starting to respond to an e-mail (from someone on this list), I realized I could write and write and she wouldn't get a response. Then I thought it was useful to others, too, so here it is:


-=-I've always thought of myself as a lousy writer --funny that that is changing too in this path toward radical unschooling, as my idea of myself is becoming less and less negative) -=-

You could write about that, at the beginning of your presentation.

I don't think it's that your thoughts about yourself made you think the same old writing was better. I think you've been writing more, and for a real audience, about things that were important to you and that they actually needed to know, and wanted to read. That is real writing, in the real world. Because of that your writing probably IS better.

All the writing students do for teachers is pretend, practice writing. Every report written in school is a practice report, not a real report. Kids are writing about something that's already known, for people who don't really want to know. A real report is like this:

Even if just one person reads it who thinks it's interesting, I've provided information that they couldn't get another way. I was an eye witness. And I link to other reports from other years.

This is a real report, because I was reporting what I saw and what I knew about what I saw:

If you write about what you have done at your house, and what you thought about it, that's reporting about family relationships, child development, the results of different methods and ideas put into practice.

If you share ideas on Always Learning, that's analysis and collaboration and the clarification of other people's ideas. Sometimes that's rephrasing and sometimes that's finding the seed of truth in a jumble of data. Sometimes it's sorting emotion from evidence.

Writing to real people for real purposes improves writing in real ways.


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