I think, therefore I am.

A few things resonated with me as I walked home from North Quad last night…

Sure, I like writing—it’s a controlled and articulate version of the rapid thoughts flying through my head, one in which I am mostly self critical and one that is painful to create.  However, participating in the “meta-writing” we did last night at “How I Write” is something I have come to particularly enjoy.

I was forced early this semester (with the Why I Write essay) to come to terms with the fact that I believe writing to be, in most ways, thinking.  And therefore, I routinely relish any  opportunity to talk to others about writing.  I believe (maybe optimistically) that we as humans have some sort of innate or shared experience about our lives– universal things about the way in which we view and interpret the world around us. Slowing down to actually talk (or write) about these things is important for personal and social growth (i.e. the How I Write series and writing based discussions alike).

More specific: Melody spoke about something she has been doing for years now: Morning Pages.  She explained that she’ll get up in the morning and just write.  Sure, I’ve journaled here and there, but then she told me that the never re-reads what she writes—I like this.  I find it sometimes difficult to to open up and just, write.  Most of what I write is graded and, therefore, I have trained myself to try to make every paragraph, every sentence, and every word, count.  But the fact that nothing is ever re-read and nothing is ever edited, allows one to use writing as a way to think-simply.  There is something to be said about the actual writing process, in that it is similar, yet disparate, to thinking.  What can we get out of tangible thought (i.e. writing) that we cannot out of the intangible mess that plagues our everyday lives?

The answer? Well, I dont’ have one.  I guess I’ll just have to continue listening to the new Sleigh Bells album and continue writing. I mean thinking…

2 thoughts to “I think, therefore I am.”

  1. Andrew, you’re not alone in the write-edit-delete-write boat. I think it’s normal to be influenced by the nagging need to keep in mind that every word we write must contribute to a piece of writing which we’re turning in for a grade. A strategy that I’ve used to help stop myself from obsessing over editing as I write is to simply type whatever comes to mind and to make a vow to never let anyone see whatever I write. It’s only after I’ve finished creating a messy draft that I think of the people (especially the professor who is grading the paper) who will eventually read the paper.

    As for the writing as thinking concept you discuss, I think of it as a circle. Thinking drives us to write which, in turn, probes us to think more as we analyze our own words.

  2. Thanks for including a comprehensive/keypoint blog regarding the how I write session. I was unable to hear what Melody had to say so it is great that I came across your blog post. It seems that as we get further and further in learning about writing, it becomes more and more different than our original assumptions about what writing is all about.

Leave a Reply