How Writing Leads to Thinking

I found myself agreeing with a lot of what was said in “How Writing Leads to Thinking,” by Lynn Hunt. She talks about the process of writing as unveiling the unconscious mind’s thoughts. When writing an essay, I like to brainstorm so that my ideas are visually in front of me and I can expand on them as I write. My favorite part of a research paper, though, is the conclusion, where I get to take all the energy that has accumulated behind my paper and express myself moment by moment, as I punch out my thoughts on the keyboard. These final thoughts in my paper are the ones I feel most strongly about, yet they are the least “thought out”. I think that the Minor in Writing is going to have a similar effect. Though I may have an idea of what will happen, my thoughts will be shaped by my time in the program and what I learn from my teachers and peers. In the end, I will hopefully be able to birth my unconscious thoughts onto paper or some other medium through the capstone course.

Hunt also talks about the importance of authentic writing, which really stuck out to me. I found this to be the most moving aspect of the piece because I related to it the most. I want to push myself to always write authentically and to learn from my mistakes. I love that she wrote, “Writing requires an unending effort at something resembling authenticity.” The idea that writing is an ongoing, seemingly endless process gives me comfort in knowing that any word can be scribbled out and made clearer, any phrase can be reworded, and any sentence can give me something new to think about. I want to always come across as my authentic self through my writing and I see many opportunities for that in the minor, like with the ePortfolio and through the process of editing and peer-editing.

One thought to “How Writing Leads to Thinking”

  1. My favorite part of essays is the conclusion as well for much of the same reasons you mentioned. When we allow ourselves to write freely and towards a level of understanding, new conclusions are in turn often unveiled. While I also agree with you that the endless opportunity for revisions might help bring out authenticity, I think there are two ways to define that same thought. Sometimes we might write to unveil what we believe is our authentic self when in reality we are only unveiling our previously constructed thoughts. Alternatively, perhaps our most authentic thoughts and prose are those words unedited and unperfected.

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