The concept of the draft is obsolete, in both academic and creative writing, if drafting is a process of rewriting a work anew, recreating and reforming what has already been written in a wholly new text. A “draft” these days is one point at which writing is saved or printed out. Writing now consists of changing a single, fluid text that grows, contracts and changes (as is happening to this post even now, if you could only see it happening as I do). Writing classes that teach first draft, second draft and final draft and do not show students how to use the word processor to revise a text are outdated.
When I started the master’s program at San Francisco State, a friend introduced me — against my will — to Google docs. Now listen, he insisted, this will make it easier to write and print out your work. I now use Google docs for almost all of my writing, including creative writing.
What are new literacies? How do new literacies differ from old ones? How does this affect how we write and how we teach writing? To address these questions, I will look at three articles: “‘New’ Literacies: Research and Social Practice” by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel, “Sampling ‘the New’ in New Literacies” by the same authors and “Looking from the Inside Out: Academic Blogging as New Literacy” by Julia Davies and Guy Merchan from the New Literacies Sampler.