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ERIC Number: ED172254
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Anxious Writers: Distinguishing Anxiety from Pathology.
Bloom, Martin
An exploration of writing anxiety suggests that it is a normal form of behavior rather than a pathology, but that it varies in degrees of its dysfunctionality. Excerpts from the log books of college students in a writing anxiety workshop illustrate four broad categories of writing anxiety: procrastination, feeling emotionally distressed, thinking about one's inadequacies, and feeling physically uncomfortable or distressed. In the writing anxiety workshop, students verbalize their writing problems; receive individual analyses of their problems, along with suggestions for change; and share the results of their attempts to follow the suggestions. The log book excerpts may be interpreted within the rational-emotive theory of Albert Ellis, as well as within a variety of other theories of psychopathology. However, writing anxiety is distinctive from other forms of pathological anxiety in that it is highly situation-specific, seems to be self-limiting, is relatively visible, and--most importantly--appears to be relatively easily overcome by rational instruction, with some mild-to-moderate confrontation in two or three brief group sessions. Thus, writing anxiety appears to be at best a very weak form of pathology; and in fact some anxiety is a necessary ingredient in the writing process, operating as an energizer. (GT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Apprehension
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (30th, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 5-7, 1979)