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Leadership and Activism

Why the National Writing Project matters

Sean Robertson contributes this #blog4nwp post to the Coöp.

Suppose a penman inquired about a blacksmith. Hailing from letters and words the penman
would be hard pressed to understand subtleties involved in smelting. Likewise the blacksmith
lacks the allusions to devise an analysis of literature. Somewhere between lies a crux, a middle
ground. This vacancy lends and borrows, burrows and fills with purpose. No vacancy. Writing
checks in.

Perhaps it is a vehicle of wrath in my case.

Often writing is a medium to vent my spleen. Whether it is existential dread or test anxiety,
given enough heat I can pound my thoughts in to shape. Specifically creative writing provides
a sort of freedom a music class only hints at. Yes. Solos do exist. Musicians in Jazz band write
the solos themselves. But in a “music class” situation a key must be followed. A time must be
kept. Interacting with other musicians requires common points of reference; this tune feels this
way and that one that way. Creative writing allows for individual exploration. Students embark.
Conventions fight for attention. Eccentricities come to the fore. They reflect and embellish.
Recent events can be reconstructed through different lenses. Destruction can equal creation
similar to molten metal creating solid steel. Granted the privacy of the written word individuals
traverse the more than “the known universe”.

Self-discovery is a powerful thing.

Steinbeck compiled and expanded upon his experiences to draft his vision of the struggles of
man in a capitalist society. His writing allowed him to reach into dark places of his psyche
and confront the catalysts of their being. Man despite his efforts ultimately returns to the
socioeconomic class of his forbearers. Such epiphanies have led to great works of literature.
Exploration is the driving force behind the entrepreneurs of the world. They scavenge and wrack
for the unknown, so then should students be allowed the same opportunity.

Within their own minds volumes of imagination reside.

Surely other expressions can be more evocative of emotions over a broader range of people.
Patrons habitually credit painters for conveying complex themes effectively through a visual
medium. Sports more successfully portray the wonders of the human body to the masses. An
essay is considerably more constricted than a painting in symbolic speech. Yet writing can
encompass almost all senses (scratch’n’sniff excluded) with the right adjectives and depict
motion with the right “verbage”. Languages contort and twist in ways even the most limber of
gymnasts would not dare. Creative writing allows the mind to wander for the sake of wandering.

Sounds dangerous.


About coopcatalyst

A dedicated group of individual thinkers, committed to personal refinement and reflection to bring forth meaningful and timely education in


2 thoughts on “Why the National Writing Project matters

  1. Dangerous is good!

    Posted by Cap Lee | April 4, 2011, 9:24 pm


  1. Pingback: The #blog4nwp archive « Cooperative Catalyst - April 4, 2011

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