Writing, “to use symbols to communicate thoughts and ideas in a readable form.”

Yet in writing there is response, grammar, logic, revision, and much more.

We write in order to express our thoughts, ideals, and beliefs. We write for others in order to communicate.

To quote Terry Heick:

“Writing is inherently reflective.

Writing is an output and product of equal parts process and affection.

Writing can be used to learn and demonstrate learning–often simultaneously…

Writing is an opportunity.

Writing is both a cause and effect of literacy…

Writing isn’t an assignment, but an assignment may require it.

Writing isn’t–absolutely cannot be–punishment.

Writing is a poor assessment form for content knowledge. There are simply too many skill and competency-based barriers that can obscure the knowledge of the writer. Writing-as-assessment assignments, then, must be designed carefully.

Writing is syntax, diction, thematic development, idea organization, minor and major structure, clarity, and creativity.

Writing is highly conceptual. It requires strong awareness of abstract concepts like purpose and audience, and perhaps more broadly, of ideas like quality and aesthetics and style.

Writing is hard work–cognitively demanding and accessible only through skill and perseverance and grit. Unless you’re magnificently talented, writing something well demands everything from the writer, and reflects everything about the writer as well.

Writing is the bending and re-bending of words and ideas until they complement one another.

Writing is rarely possible without reading, but reading is possible without writing. Both are simply different ways of construction knowledge.

Writing is the product of persistence in craftsmanship honed through supported practice and human affection.

Writing, then, is humanizing.”

Why do we write fiction? Is it really as simply as enjoyment, both for the self and for the reader?

I believe fiction is good for the soul of the writer and reader. It’s enjoyment, even when sad or dark. Though it can be, I don’t think it should be frivolous. The greatest works of fiction cause the mind to think. All writing can do so, but fiction has the capability to force the reader outside of their world and into another. To see a mirror.

I think we as humans are more likely to respond to a story, a parable, a fable, than to a person saying, “this is this, that is that.” And that is what I find most powerful in fiction.

What is writing to you, and why is it important?