Peter Elbow was on Julie's Periscope!

Peter Elbow - Professor Emeritus of Amherst :) 

I am just freewriting as he is speaking so I can take notes and have them in one place.

 Ken Macrorie - Invented freewriting. 

(Definition of freewriting from Wikipedia: 


Free writing, a term commonly used by Elbow, coined by Ken Macrorie, is to write without stopping, without editing, without sharing, without worrying about grammar, without thinking, without rushing. Elbow wants his students (and others) to write whatever they want, however they want but just write daily-10 to 15 minutes for one freewrite. Normal freewriting can be adapted to focused freewriting and public freewriting. Focused freewriting is trying to stay on a topic, which is particularly useful when a student has a specific assignment to do. Public freewriting is geared toward being shared, which makes it seem a little more risky but it is very useful in groups, especially where there is trust, and growth can occur. The goal of this exercise is to bring about a more natural language, while making the writing process easier and more comfortable to the student.

He wanted his student to keep writing under conditions of complete safety. No judging or ranking. 

Highest priority is safety and you have to sacrifice things for safety. 

1) Read it
2) Thank you at the bottom
3) Write positive comment without judgment
4) IF all going well and we are safe here - then some kind of judgmental feedback

Julie - I want to know more. Rather than "correcting"! There should be space for no one reading their writing out loud. 

Four Stages
1) Write
2) Try giving to someone (no feedback)
3) Will tell you thoughts on their mind and not try to criticize
4) IF going OK, can tell you what they liked or did not like. 

Movies of the Mind - Story of what was going on in the reader's mind

Give writing to the reader and ask them to tell the story about what is going on in their mind as they read it. 

Give just the first paragraph to someone and ask the question above.  

Julie - as a parent being the person you are not. This is not teacher/student. 

Peter - The grade is arguable. (Subjective) Get the reader tell what was going on in their mind is a fact. In the world of writing there is very little that is FACT. Different teachers like different things. 

Very few college professors want rigid writing. 

All your thinking in any order. Chain of thought. Mechanics mop up (Julie's word for Peter Elbow!). 

Peter - so many teachers says you should have three-four ideas. I never could do that. I just threw down garbage and everything I could think of. Any old ideas in any old order. 

Julie - Pull things from the mess. Individual sheets about all the mess and freewrite about all the points and then organize them. Kids triple space, cut up, and put them in order. 

Peter - People complain if I make a mess how to I organize it. Put a check mark any time you find an idea. 

Good writing is not logical. Mathematics is logical. Organization question - how can I tell a story with these idea? How do I say hello. Putting the main idea in the first sentence is sort of boring. Way to say hello and get the reader to ? "Tell a story of your thinking." 

Mike Rose did research about students. He looked at writers - people who got things written and people who could not write. The pattern emerged that people who couldn't write were people who were trying to do everything correctly. The ones who got it right were those who knew they were doing everything wrong, but they just couldn't help it. 

Julie - learning to write is not like learning a foreign language. That is hogwash. 

Peter - academics when they get a Ph.D. feel like they have to write differently. Fiddle with a sentence until it feels right in your mouth and sounds right in your ear. 

Oxford - Jonathan Wordsworth (great grand nephew of THE Wordsworth) was a young whipper snapper. He was not very nice! Limped his way through Oxford. He knew some things and passed. 

Harvard - Graduate - Institutions who think they are the best in the world tend to breed a bad atmosphere. LOL! Felt like a complete failure. I tried as hard as I could but I could not do it. He doesn't mind being in a classroom if he is the teacher. LOL! Did teaching and went back to grad school. 

I can only write wrong but I can make it right! 

My heart be still. That was fantastic! 

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