I'm uncertain I still believe that it's not my job to teach writing. For one thing, I've accepted at last that the implicit form-content dualism of that belief is untenable. Writing is not a container, and ideas are not pre-existing stuff to fill it.
On Thursday, I went on a bike ride after finishing grading 108 student papers, and thought about how to begin teaching something about writing to my students. I began by telling them that reading student papers causes me great pain, because I empathize with the pain I can see in their writing.
I then asked about their pain and anxiety about writing, and when I asked them what they do in response, the first answer in each class was, of course, procrastinate. They listed a number of other responses: they stress-eat, lose sleep, plagiarize, rush through, or give up. I asked how well those strategies work out.
It's hard for me to understand this, because I write all the time. I love constructing sentences and paragraphs. I delight in playing around with words. It's easy. It's easier for me to write than not to write. I struggle to refrain from writing. (That's not entirely true. Some days I can't write easily or well. I just don't have any words. When that happens, I don't push it. The next day, it's back.)
It's also perplexing because I believe most people I come across who have to write as part of what they're doing dislike or even dread writing. How--or more to the point, why--anyone who hates writing becomes a successful academic is beyond my comprehension.