Hunt’s first rule for writing is truly my number one rule for life; don’t look at notes. Looking at notes regardless of the situation gets you nowhere, the learning potential has completely stalemated. Reading over your own words for the 400th time is not going to all of a sudden inspire the utmost of creativity. It is with physical progress that one can continue to grow. Hunt’s first rule piggy-backs perfectly off of “Shitty First Drafts” and the idea that even the shittiest of bullshit writing is a step in the right direction. Words on paper. Ready for revision.
Don’t look at notes Hunt says. This idea is similar to “don’t dwell on the past.” When I’m sitting in bed, hitting myself in the face for the bullshit I faced throughout the day, I can’t help myself from peeking in my mind at the notes. These notes are my notes, the ones I made and stashed away to remind myself of all that had occurred. But thinking about the past and all that you wish to change doesn’t get you anywhere. It isn’t until you take the first physical step to turn things around that one can forget about his or her regrets. Thinking about it doesn’t get you anywhere.
But writing. Writing can get you thinking. And that kind of deeper thinking can get you moving in a direction, anything but still really which is what matters. Only writing can produce a change, a change directed towards a discovery for new thinking.
I’ve considered writing a book. Well I’ve thought about it. I reread my notes on thinking about it. Which, just as Hunt predicted, has gotten me absolutely nowhere. It will not be until I can follow the radish rule that progress will be made. My patience will have to be tested, but the end goal is possible. Don’t look at notes.
Reading Hunt’s piece reminded me about why I wanted to apply to the Writing Minor in the first place. I discovered writing when I least expected it, when I couldn’t find even the simplest of truths in myself on a surface level. It took practically rambling on paper and weaving through incomprehensible sentences to discover what was truly plaguing my self esteem. I was lost and the mechanisms of which I had once had to find myself no longer were successful. Finding writing was a blessing, a safe place to write until I learned. I learned about who I wanted to be. By not second guessing myself and constantly putting words on paper I hope that I will revise my way to clarity. Don’t look at your notes, Kelly.