All Writing is Conversation


They Say, I Say

If you’re in one of my more advanced classes, I’ve probably made you read, if not all of the book They Say, I Say, then at least some of it. It’s really excellent, here’s an exerpt:

They Say, I Say

The main argument in the book is that all writing is conversation. If you’re not convinced, you might like to check out a conversation I had in Spring 2016.

It began with a rather unassuming article I wrote in an online journal called Town Crier. That essay was called, “Try Not to Puke”

On Shame and Contempt

To my surprise, it was shared over 400 times and led to a lot of debate within my community. Everywhere I went for a while, I ran into people who had read it and wanted to talk about it more. It also inspired a response, here:

Jesse Staniforth Responds

I had to reply:

Dear Jesse — Medium

And so did he:


And then, I replied.

While our audience likely tapered off–my “Dear Jesse” was viewed close to 600 times and read 400 (or so the statistics at Medium tell me)–I think our conversation became all the more productive. In the volley you can see how Jesse quotes me and how I quote him back, something we do in an effort to understand one another, but also to prove a point.

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