Monday, 27 February 2012

Learning to Write

So this semester I have enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Professional Writing & Publishing. Sounds interesting huh? It is, no really! I'm only doing one unit at a time, as a full time work load, and trying to work on a novel, contribute to AW and keep up with multiple other personal commitments, I don't think any more would be doable. I started last night, and did the whole week's worth of study/watching lectures etc. in an hour. No, I'm not super smart (I wish!) it was just introductory week so it was pretty straightforward.

It got me thinking though, and this is only in lecture one, how uneducated I've been in the whole writing field. The way the lecturer discussed writing as a representation, how what we write is accountable and that we write for subjects (be it our self or others) opened a whole new world for me. She actually pinpointed an issue that affected me exactly just last week (check it out here) about how we represent others - and the example she chose was how to represent the aborigines of Australia in a fiction text. This problem had only recently plagued me and I was instantly intrigued for the remainder of the semester.

I just, had no idea how naive I was about the role of the writer in our world!

Have any of you had a rude shock moment about writing, what it means to be a writer and who we are accountable to and responsible for? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!


  1. Sometimes I think about that sort of thing when I'm writing characters based on real people. I ask myself, "Would this person recognize themselves in this work? How would they feel about it?"For me, it's more of an exercise than anything. I don't think I'd actually change something because I felt any kind of responsibility to them.

    But of course, if you're talking about a group or race of people (such as the aborigines in your example) , that's a whole other subject. An author can certainly lead themselves into hot water for misrepresenting a group. I've not had that experience yet, but I'm sure I would feel a different level of accountability if I did.

    Besides that, I also try to remember that every word I've typed is representative of me as an author when I send a story out into the wild for publication.

    ~ J

    1. Thanks for the comment, sorry about my late reply!

      Your last sentence is what the lecture was loosely based on - our representation of ourselves and the accountability to our-self (and others) through this representation.