Personal Habituated Practices
Repetitive practice and writing experiences may lead to the development of habituated practice. Habituated practice is a set of methods and frameworks writers are used to implement, and hence, they use these frameworks unconsciously or automatically. A similar effect may be achieved in any other activities regardless of their complexity. In some cases, habituated practices may be highly beneficial. However, in others, they may prevent flexibility and serve as barriers to learning new practices. Therefore, it may be vital to identify and assess automaticity in order to benefit from its strengths and avoid potential disadvantages.
I believe that every writer may have several habituated styles, which may vary depending on the requirements of a particular writing routine. For instance, some of my unconscious competence in writing is closely linked to sending text messages and communicating on the internet. Such habituated practices differ significantly from those that I developed while completing my school assignments. For instance, school writings may require the use of passive voice, accuracy, and attention to cause-effect relationships, whereas, in text messages, I often express my personal opinion, which may not always have a factual basis. The formal style of school assignments and the informal text messaging represent my personal repetitive writing experiences. Therefore, misapplication of habituated practices may occur, leading to a mismatch between what I write and the expectations and norms of a new community. For example, my experience with school assignments may lead to the use of formal language and increase attention to cause-effect relationships when writing a fiction story, even though it may not be necessary and, in some cases, even stylistically inappropriate.
As already mentioned, habituated practices have a list of strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, the same practice may be both beneficial and inappropriate depending on the current writing requirements. Therefore, it may not be possible to identify perfectly useful or completely useless practices regardless of the circumstances. For example, the practice of using formal language and passive voice developed when writing school assignments may be beneficial for further studying and scholarly activity. However, the same set of practices may not be appropriate when writing a novel or an advertising article. The informal style of text messages can be utilized when writing dialogs in a play, yet it may not be suitable for scientific research. Hence, it may be critical to identify the practices that I use automatically and adjust them in accordance with the requirements of a concrete paper.
Writing is a complex activity that may require a wide variety of both soft and hard skills as well as knowledge about relevant styles, norms, and expectations. Therefore, it may be vital to be agile and able to adapt to improve writing. According to some sources, reflection enables writers to “recall, reframe, and relocate knowledge and practices” (Dryer et al. 79). Hence, it may be essential to write revisions focusing on the use of habituated practices and possible barriers to use mistakes as learning opportunities. Moreover, reading and practicing different writing styles may be highly beneficial in terms of moving past habituated practices and learning how to identify them and implement them in an appropriate context. Conclusively, flexibility is one of the most important skills in writing, which can be developed by effective reflection.
Dryer, Dylan B, et al. “Writing Is (Also Always) a Cognitive Activity.” Naming What We Know, edited by Linda Adler-Kassner and Elizabeth Wardle, University Press of Colorado, 2015, pp. 71–81.