Reflections on Writing: Gloria Steinem Quote

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” Gloria Steinem

I have to agree with Ms. Steinem that when I am writing, there are few distractions, few interruptions, few “dawdles.” Simply: my ideas and my word processor.

Part of my attraction is this simplicity. If nothing else, writing today is far simpler then when I was an undergraduate or when I was working on my graduate work.  I have never been a stellar typist, so I had to worry about typos all along and had to have white out or eraser or “erasable” bond paper to fix the errors where my mind ran far faster than my fingers had the capacity to manage.

I think that the “mind” part is another attraction to writing that minimizes distraction.  When I write, I am engaging in conversation–sort of–with my own mind.  I am tossing ideas around like a salad to see what looks good.  And this mental activity is great!

Certainly, writing is more fun and distractions are minimal at age 59 in contrast to when I was 18 or 19.  I believe I am thinking better now than then.  And I can stay focused more.  And, I have to confess, I am not worried about pleasing anyone.  In fact, some of my blogs I really hope to work up some anger and comments so we can really have a conversation!

And this last point–thinking better and more focused–is a real distinction in my own life and , I believe, is a distinction in the life of my students.  My students struggle to really be focused.  And they struggle to be focused for any extended bit of time.  There are lots of things going on in their lives and for our digital natives, there are always digital delivery systems chirping and burping for their attention.  Add to that a degree of immaturity for traditional ago students and it is easy to see how writing is just a side thing–there is always something better going on to distract them.

What do you think as you reflect on your writing in the past and your current writing? Is it easier now? Was it easier then?  How have things changes for you?  Please post your comments!


About deanmark

Dean of Arts, Sciences, and Education at Davidson County Community College.
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