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April 2011

expressivism is like songwriting

Even though there are folks who say that expressivism is only an interior experience of writing, in actuality, expressivism is a form of communication kindred to songwriting.  As with expressivism, songwriters write songs to communicate with the larger world, not to communicate simply with themselves.   It is that very yearning to connect to a larger mileau that spurs on songwriters and expressivists alike.   Hence, there is no such thing as an expressivist writing to him/herself alone since any writing implies a desire to communicate.  It's that desire to communicate that drives expressivist writing.  And that is what makes expressivism the most radical tradition in composition studies, i.e., because it allows for the desire to write rather than positing writing as merely an academic task.  Expressivists are not taskmasters; rather, they are communicators who long to connect with the world.  This tangentially begs the question, why is the desire to write so often neglected in composition studies?  Too often students are given writing tasks that do not engage their desire to write.  Students are expected to perform writing tasks rather than being asked to explore, creatively, what they desire to write. More later.