Writing: The Drug to Discover Your Unthought Thoughts

According to Lynn Hunt, picking up a pen is crucial to writing even if you don’t know what you are writing about. After reading her article, I look at the Minor in Writing program as a gum-ball machine that takes in students and spits out a multitude of writers, different but all colorful. Writing over and over and over again (not just studying HOW to write but concretely putting words on paper) forces us to grow out of three-point theses and five paragraph formats. We have the potential to discover our own voices, styles, and preferred genres instead of writing thirty versions of the same prompt. I love Hunt’s point that when you write a thought “you think of something you did not know you could or would think.” That’s where the growth happens. That’s where you discover who you are. That’s what distinguishes orange gum-balls from blue ones. Like any other skill, writing takes practice and the minor offers us a chance to do just that through molding an entire body of work in the form of an ePortfolio.

Hunt also challenges us to be authentic. In other words, if your writing sucks you’re probably trying to write like someone else. A major goal I have this year is to discover who I want to be as a writer and stay true to that person. On many accounts, I’ve tried to emulate great authors because I believed if their writing is good, I should probably write like them. But writing is not a one-size fits all. As Hunt points out, mistakes comes from not discovering what YOU think, what your beliefs are. On my quest for authenticity, I aim for creativity as well. With a ton of platforms and mediums to communicate on, writing is a practically limitless convention (as long as we abide by the rules of grammar, kind of). Tweeting, blogging, journaling, websites, text messages, emails, ink pens, etc all give us the chance to think outside the box and communicate our message differently. In this program, I hope to utilize these tools to create something meaningful beyond an MLA formatted essay.

In short, writing fosters identity. It’s a skill that must be relentlessly worked towards by simply just writing. But to be able to create something that is truly your own proves incredibly satisfying in the end.

2 thoughts to “Writing: The Drug to Discover Your Unthought Thoughts”

  1. Hi Lorena! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your first blog post! I have a similar goal this semester to find my own voice, no matter how long or “unending” that journey may be. I also really loved your gumball analogy! I love being apart of a class of writers who come from a wide array of backgrounds, experiences, and writing styles/genres. It will be interesting to see where this semester takes us. Do you have any ideas of what kinds of “meaningful” or distinctive things you will place within your MiW eportfoilo? It’s kind of a broad and daunting question, but I am just curious if you have thought about it at all!

  2. Hi, Lorena! First of all, I love your gumball machine metaphor. It’s fun to think of writers this way. When you pluck a book from the shelf, like when you stick a quarter in a machine, you never know exactly what you’re going to get, but it will normally be something good (well, unless you end up with one of those nasty white ones. Those taste like soap).

    I find interesting your point about the various mediums of writing. You mentioned that each of these gives us the opportunity to write differently, and I think you’re absolutely right. The style of a formal essay is obviously going to show a different part of your character as a writer than a text message. I wonder what you think, however, about variation in style within the same medium. For example, how does sending a text to your aunt differ from sending a text to your best friend? Is one of these alternative voices better than the other, or do they both have value? You mention how we have always been told to write a certain way (an introduction and a conclusion, sandwiching three arguments supporting your thesis); do you think this deeply ingrained idea has colored your view of what is and isn’t authentic? Can a piece be authentic even if it is conventional?

    After reading your posts, I’m excited to talk with you and hear your thoughts!

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