Response to How Writing Leads to Thinking

For the entirety of my short writing career, I relied on a rigid, formulaic process designed to complete any writing assignment thrown at me. It went like this: read the assignment, think about what I want to say, write a detailed outline, and then carefully write a couple paragraphs per day until my first draft (which was often my final draft) was complete. I mastered this methodology, and it usually produced success both in terms of grades and in terms of my satisfaction as a writer. But after attending a few classes in the Minor in Writing program and after reading “How Writing Leads to Thinking,” I have come to a couple realizations. I now understand that the type of writing that I will be doing in this class is unlike any other kind of writing that I have done before. This will call for a new creative process (probably one that allows more flexibility, and probably one that is actually, well, creative). My prior writing process worked for the classic essay assignments that I have always been asked to do, but it won’t produce any satisfying piece of art in this class. Also, by reading about the art of writing, I understand that writing is so much more than what it can appear to be. Writing is about communication, and struggling over how to do so most effectively. Writing is a painstaking, frustrating, and worthy struggle that is owed more than just one outline and one draft; it is owed a deeper, and more creative process. Writing is about discovery of thought and about self-discovery. It is my hope that if I really engage in the curriculum for the Minor in Writing, I can discover new ideas, unlock my more creative side, and say something important to my readers along the way. I am intimidated by the blank screens that will have to turn into my ePortfolio, but I am also excited and willing to really get started.

One thought to “Response to How Writing Leads to Thinking”

  1. I also have relied far too long on the rigid structure of writing you describe in the beginning of your post. It can be really hard to deviate from something that has been pounded into our heads over and over again as the “right way.” What I have come to find from the different classes I’ve taken here is that there are so many forms of writing that one structure can’t possibly work for every assignment or project. It’s too stifling. I agree with you that in order to fulfill our full potential it is necessary to engage in the messy, shitty first draft. I think sometimes we are most proud of the things that caused us the most grief along the way. No pain no gain right?

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