ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Some Introspective and Metacognitive Reflections on the Beautiful Gift of Writing

Updated on January 5, 2015

The act of writing is a heavenly gift. It’s as if God has said, “I have created. Now create.” By writing I can communicate with God, with myself, and with others. Communication is the means by which we can escape ourselves, and writing is a conduit for that escape. On the contrary, by writing my thoughts I can escape the world into myself, into my boundless imagination. This power of creation that has been granted to me has led me to try my hand at many different types of writing.

In writing I see a simple truth: the more that I understand the mechanics of writing, the more free that I am. The best way I can explain this is: the more that a criminal knows about the laws and regulations within society, the more readily the criminal is able to circumvent and manipulate laws to be a successful criminal. This is a daring analogy, but it works. This is my explanation for experienced authors’ ability to bend what we widely understand to be established grammatical conventions.

The Cognitive Process Theory by Linda Flower and John R. Hayes (1981) talks about how the writing process is cyclical, and the writer makes constant decisions that affect the outcome of the writing output. As highlighted in their model, which attempts to physically embody an intellectual process whose steps are constantly revolving and changing order, the writing process does not follow a successive order. Rather, there is a constant reshaping going on that hinges on 1) the rhetorical problem in question, 2) the writer’s faculties and long-term memory, and 3) the writing process itself. The writer will assess the work already created, sometimes at the emergence of each new word, and make syntactic and lexical choices that hinge on each point of reflection. I appreciated learning this theory because it applies to my writing techniques; I automatically make adjustments to a piece as I go through it, and it is more often than not a very cyclical process.

Each literary text I create (call it a writing mission) can never be completely free form. There will always be some type of restrictive element. For instance, I could write a poem that has no restrictions for meter, length, or form. But it will still have to consist of language. That is a restrictive element. If the writing mission is a business letter, the restrictive elements are societal and professional expectations for the form of the letter, the font, etc. This can be applied to life itself: In life there will always be restrictions. The key is to make the best of what’s around and make some magic with what you’ve got. Same goes with writing. There are always life analogies abounding in the craft of writing.

Writing is a joy because even though it is usually bound, there are usually ways to find freedom within it. In my life I have written poetry, short stories, nonfiction, journalistic works, guest editorial, photojournalistic works, technical documents and so on. Each of these forms and genres of writing has its own set of restrictions. However, the more time that I invest in each different genre, the more experienced, informed, knowledgeable, and, as a result, liberated, I become by the act of writing in that particular genre.

When I think of some of my greatest writing achievements thus far, the essence of my satisfaction in these texts has come from my ability to do one or all of the following: 1) properly assess and idea or subject within a proper context; 2) comment upon an idea or subject by juxtaposing it against another idea or subject in an innovative way; and/or 3) come up with something absolutely sparklingly original and unique. I wrote one long paper for an Animals in Literature course in which I took a play script, a novel, and a documentary, and compared all of their protagonists with the theme of A Return to Eden. Given the circumstances of the content of the texts, this was a unique spin. The degree of uniqueness that I achieved in the writing, and the original thoughts that amounted from the essay (as we all know that writing can take on a life of its own at times), granted me a very high level of satisfaction. I was able to draw very distinct theoretical connections amongst highly varied story lines. This reminds me, as I write, that challenge is usually a good indicator of how satisfying a writing endeavor will be.

In the previous paragraph was a parenthetical statement that writing can take on a life of its own at times. This paragraph would probably not exist were it not for that parenthetical statement. This is an endless circle of logic for which you may not be prepared. Real writing becomes an organism, living, moving, breathing. The writer become a life force channel, simply a conduit by which the living being of the literary text is birthed. If the writing is not taking on a life of its own, the writer may need to 1) research his or her topic more; 2) seek oneself for new insight and/or world/personal connections to idea or subject; and/or 3) reconsider one’s purpose behind writing about said idea or subject.

How does this pertain to being a teacher of writing? I have to understand that not all of my students will be able to write like me. Some will be freestyle writers and others will be what I call “outline writers.” There shouldn’t be a negative stigma placed on this. Some people just think in a more logical format. Some students will do better when they have a specific template to help them formulate their content.

How can I take my own profile and spin it to inform my philosophy of teaching? Well, from what I have just produced, I have deduced three simple precepts: 1) Expect restrictions in writing, and expect to overcome them as your skills increase; 2) The level of satisfaction in a piece of writing will be proportionate to the degree of challenge involved in the writing endeavor; and 3) If your writing is not taking on a life of its own, then you may need to check yourself. We’ll make the best of what’s around. We’ll make some magic with what we’ve got!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)