At the heart of the argument, I agree. Writing can be stressful, and it is certainly time-consuming. Also, given my pages and pages of outlines which are usually longer than the actual essays, I enthusiastically concur that my writing forms my thoughts as much as my analysis shapes my paragraphs. However, I disagree with both of her rules.
The first rule, to me, simply seems silly. Don’t look at your notes? The purpose of your notes is to help create your final argument. Without them, you’re writing from memory, and while in the best of circumstances you can plug the loophole with a clever counterargument, in truly sophisticated arguments you may not be afforded that luxury, instead having a single misremembered detail unravel your argument until it implodes into a rhetorical black hole. Sure, you can just find the new argument from this point on; but that’s a lot of wasted time if you could have simply scanned your notes before plunging into the deep end.
Which brings me to the second rule. The second rule basically states that you write, write, write, so that you have something, anything on the page, which you can then grow and prune as needed. This is not how I write essays; that’s outlining. I write an outline, and then I write a more detailed outline, and one even more detailed, until I have my entire argument laid out before me. My actual writing only occurs after my entire argument is on the page, after the only thing I have to worry about is the writing itself. What she advocates is to write out an argument and trim it later, however that trimming may eliminate a crucial point needed in later paragraphs or create a complication that further paragraphs must address. It creates frustration that could have been avoided with basic planning and is again a waste of time that is easy to avoid if you just prepare beforehand. Which brings me back to how I wholeheartedly agree with her.
I agree that writing stimulates thought. I never have the argument fully formed in my head, like some cosmic Athena springing forth from Zeus’ skull. That takes working out my thoughts on paper, by writing, and writing, and writing, until some small inkling starts to germinate. Some little caterpillar starts spinning a cocoon from my ideas, and after a long process of rearranging, adding more, and rearranging again, in a spark of insight it bursts free from its transitory home and fully metamorphoses into an outline of my final argument. Just as Hunt knows what works best for her, I know what makes my academic writing click. I think the main point of reading this article in this context is to showcase how someone realized their writing process, and I hope the Minor in Writing can help me do just that and find my voice in non-academic genres.