How Writing Leads to Thinking

This article made me look at the minor in writing from a slightly different angle. Of course I assumed we would be improving our writing and learning along the way how best to do so, but Hunt so clearly captured the reality of how absolutely and completely stressful writing can be sometimes. I originally thought that the minor in writing program would improve our writing by making it easier. Easier how? I’m not really sure. I guess I felt like some magic would occur between our gateway and capstone classes that would make us effortless writers. Now I see the goal of the minor more geared towards helping us grow our radishes and when the time comes, weeding them out. In a sense this will make writing easier, just not in the effortless way I thought it would.

Throughout her article, Hunt emphasizes the importance of momentum over quality, because the bad stuff, like weeds, can be picked out later. Similar to Lamott, she inspires me to worry less about what I am writing and focus more on putting pen to paper. She says that, “most mistakes come from not being yourself, not saying what you think, or being afraid to figure out what you really think”, which results from not writing in the first place. A goal I have for this course is to allow myself to write honestly so that I can reach new places of thought instead of focusing too much upfront on what ideas I already had. I think a key step to this is not worrying about what others will think when they read it…to “discover that no one ordered [my] execution.” To me this is the hardest step, because I weigh advice from my peers heavily.

This brings me to my second goal for the semester. As writers we become attached to what we write good or bad. I want to be able to release the writing I have grown attached to if it benefits me in the long run. Perhaps if I am able to put pen to paper and gain momentum instead of rereading my notes, then I won’t find it so hard to let go of my writing. The more I have the easier it will be to pick out what is necessary and what isn’t.

Hunt’s advice on reading also struck me as something I would like to work on in this class. She says to pay attention to what grabs you in a book and then try and figure out what the author did to draw you in. I now find myself thinking back to some of my favorite books and wondering what aspects of them hooked me. Was it the writing itself? The choice of dialogue? Or perhaps the detail? I’m not sure, but moving forward it is something I would like to pay more attention to.

Most importantly perhaps, this article has given me perspective into how writing more means thinking more, but thinking more without writing can leave you at a dead end.


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