Writing: Long or Hard? A Reflective Exercise

“Reflecting on Long Writing vs. Hard Writing”

Traci Gardner defines long writing and hard writing in the article. She discusses instances of each in her own work. Then Gardner adapts this idea to her students and their reflective writing.

By asking students to tell me about their long writing and their hard writing, I can see if they are applying their effort in the right places. Are they so worn out by the long writing that they never get to the hard writing? Do they stick with the hard writing long enough to take real risks? Have they allowed enough time in their writing process for the long tasks? Do they understand that it takes both kinds of writing to arrive at an effective text?

I have not done a lot of reflective writing with students because I haven’t really seen the value, but this adaptation of the reflective exercise has potential to benefit the students in both the long and short term and to help me help them write more effectively and efficiently.

I need to think on this more.

Gardner says she began thinking in this direction based on Seth Godin’s blog post on Long v. Hard Work.

One thought on “Writing: Long or Hard? A Reflective Exercise”

  1. As a College English instructor, I rarely have time for reflective writing assignments, since there are so many curriculum based items to cover. After reading the articles here, however, I am revisiting the idea. A writing assignment that requires students to critically read their own work might help emphasize the focus on effective communication over word count.

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