Salutations Readers and Writers!
Thank you for visiting and welcome to the Writing Center's new blog. We look forward to providing helpful insights and resources, sharing our stories as writers, letting you know about upcoming events in the community, and creating a dialogue-friendly space. Admittedly, we are pretty excited about the chance to write or more specifically, blog.
As writing specialists, we understand being misunderstood. So much so that I even made a GIF for that. Many students and professors perceive the writing center as an ER for writing, somewhere ailing writers go with their mangled papers hoping for bandages and stitches and medicine. Like most writing centers across the country, we hope to change that
In many ways, writing is a social activity that heavily revolves around community. For example, writing in college allows us to develop understanding of various disciplines, such as biology, sociology, literature, or intercultural communication. Although you are writing to your professor, that individual may actually be understood as a representative from a certain discipline, just like you are a single member of your larger family. When we write across the disciplines, we are essentially trying out our membership within different discourse communities–like joining multiple Facebook groups and posting differently in each one in order to meet audience expectations. Navigating new communities does not always come easily though (hence the existence of Google Maps). In fact, it's usually pretty difficult, and even when writers feel comfortable in a discourse community, we surround ourselves with readers who will provide meaningful feedback.
Defining discourse communities.
Defining discourse communities.
Many students in higher education, myself included, do not feel comfortable actually identifying as writers though. We write, but we're not writers, right? I don't write books, poems, or stories. I don't publish anything. I don't think I have anything to say or the talent to convey it. Even as a writing specialist of two years, these feelings are no stranger to me.
All writers seek feedback, but if we don't feel like writers, then asking readers for suggestions just doesn't feel like an option. Get the paper done, get the grade, get the degree, get the career. None of these necessarily require identifying as a writer, and yet they require a lot of writing, the ability to step into different discourse communities as though we belong. So, instead of being outsiders who try to fake belonging, what if we could really feel like we belong, maybe not even to a specific discipline-centered discourse community, but to the community of writers at NSC?
This is where the writing center comes in! We are not a trauma center for papers in distress, we are readers. We want to read your papers. We want you to know that you are a writer. We want to grow as writers together. Working in the writing center has helped me understand that finding readers actually makes me feel like a writer, which makes me want to write and develop my own voice. I've learned to be ok with being uncomfortable as I transition into thinking of myself as a real, living, breathing writer. I hope that in visiting the writing center, you too will see that we represent a safe space for all voices and all writers.
Talk with us.
Think with us.
Write with us.
Grow with us.
*All sources are linked, just click on the images.
Composed by Paige Hall, with feedback from the writing center team.