Reflections on My Dilemmas with Writing | Mohammad Shamsuzzaman

Reflections on My Dilemmas with Writing | Mohammad Shamsuzzaman

Reflections on My Dilemmas with Writing
Mohammad Shamsuzzaman

Abstract: The field of Writing Studies is full of prescriptions and proscriptions. As a writing professional, I’m cognizant of these directives. While I treasure my extensive exposure to the knowledge-base of Writing Studies/Composition, I don’t uncritically endorse and enact the theories that the discipline of Writing Studies upholds. It often dawns on me that the discipline of Writing Studies falls short in appreciating the complex composing process that I embody as a second language writer in English. I don’t blame the field of Writing Studies for such a lacuna, as I know that the discipline emerged in North America to cater to the writing needs of the native speakers of English. I’m a non-native of the English language, already conditioned by a culture that is entrenched in different epistemology and philosophy of writing. Ours is a culture of so-called writer-based or creative writing, and writing is believed to be a natural endowment. Writing is not taught or learned. It’s, instead, absorbed and acquired. Composition Studies predominantly deals with so-called reader-based or academic writing, and the discipline stubbornly maintains that writing is a learned skill. My cultural and linguistic backgrounds contradict with some of the fundamental assumptions of the discipline of Composition Studies. I don’t have an absolute allegiance to the epistemology and philosophy of my ur-culture. Neither am I completely colonized by the discipline of Composition Studies. My default writing process spawns some dilemmas as such. I reveal and reflect on these dilemmas in this essay.

Keywords: Composition, L2 Writing

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Published in August 2019

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