The Writing Process

Topics: Writing, Writing process, Creative writing Pages: 3 (993 words) Published: December 3, 2012
Scores of composition instructors agree that writing should be taught as a recursive process, rather than a liner process, and they also agree that most writers employ certain writing strategies as they produce drafts. Sandra Perl’s article, Understanding Composing” shares these beliefs because she states: “writing does appear to be recursive, yet the parts that recur seem to vary from writer to writer and from topic to topic” (142). Perl explains that throughout the writing process, writers employ a “forward-moving action that exists by virtue of backward-moving action” (141). Furthermore, Perl claims that when writers plan, draft, and revise their writings, they use a process she labels as retrospective structuring which involves attending to a writer’s a felt sense, returning to the topic presented, rereading what has been already written, and reassessing the words written (145). Perl claims that the most important retrospective structuring feature involves writers paying attention to their felt sense, a term she borrows from Eugene Gendlin, a philosopher at the University of Chicago (142). Perl defines a writer’s felt sense as a bodily experience or nonverbal thought that “surround the words, or to what the words already present evoke in the writer” (142). Moreover, when writers use the process of felt sense they pause and react to “what is inside of them,” and writers seem to focus on “careful attention to one’s inner reflections and is often accompanied with bodily sensations”(Perl 144). Furthermore, Perl believes that skilled writers employ their felt sense unknowingly while unskilled writers can be taught how to pay close attention to their felt sense (144). Perl then describes that when presented with a topic, writers take in the topic and attend to their felt sense and wait to see what forms before they begin to write (144). Perl states that a topic evokes a writer’ felt sense and the topic, “calls forth images, words, ideas, and vague fuzzy feelings...
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