ERIC Number: ED340020
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Crossing the Writing Threshold.
Clark, Carol Lea
What pushes a writer over the edge of thought into text production--over what may be called "the writing threshold?" This is the moment when the thoughts in a writer's mind, the writing situation, and personal motivations create a momentum that results in a pattern of written words. There is evidence that not everyone crosses the writing threshold in the same way. Some writers do extensive composing (and even revising) mentally before putting words on paper, while others write down words almost as they are thought. A writer may find crossing the threshold more difficult when material is less well understood. The writing threshold functions like a membrane between the ideas in the writer's head and the flow of words onto the page. "Precipitating states" (which include deadline anxiety, conscious intent, and creative flow) result in the crossing of the membrane or threshold. In the classroom, the concept of the writing threshold gives identity to a critically individual but largely ignored part of the writing process. Students' realizations that there are different ways of crossing the threshold will help de-mystify the writing process, and may help make that moment of text production less mysterious and more approachable. (SG)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Composition Theory; Writing Threshold
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College English Association (San Antonio, TX, April 18-20, 1991).