Embodied Writing Processes

MovementLiv2

Something amazing happened this Tuesday, and I’m dying to share!  I showed parts of my video, “A Composition in Film” to Olivia, my seventh grade homeschool student.  I drew her attention to those scenes where Heather and I attempted to embody the Mozartian or Beethovian writers’ (or is there such a thing!?) process.  If you watch our video (posted below), you know that our embodied movements are odd and binary.

After showing this to Olivia and holding a brief conversation with her about the potential (and normal!) messiness of writing, she did something absolutely incredible:  she brainstormed ideas for a writing project physically.  She asked if we could move around the house to brainstorm her ideas, strangely warping ourselves into different shapes and taking on the personas of people she wanted to write about.  By moving up, down, twisting and contorting, we felt comfortable acting the parts of her “characters” and soon found ourselves speaking in dialogue with one another about the topics that conflicted “us” (aka, her characters).

Although this moment occurred nearly two hours after I showed Liv our video, I can’t help but wonder if one inspired the other.  Do writers know/think to use their bodies in the process?  What’s the benefit of using movement when brainstorming and drafting?  How can movement affect the revision process?

About taylo206

I am an Assistant Professor of Composition, Rhetoric and Professional Writing at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
This entry was posted in Film Compositions, Original Digital Projects, Teaching Approaches, Writing Exercises. Bookmark the permalink.

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