Writing Is a Trust Fall

The color white is intimidating on a computer screen. There will always be something better to fill that space, but there will never be enough time for all of those possibilities. The first way of managing time is stopping myself from looking for more information and inspiration. In her article “How Writing Leads to Thinking,” Lynn Hunt states, “Reorganizing you notes is a form of house cleaning; it might make you feel good about yourself as a tidy person, but it will not produce a chapter or even a page. Only writing can do it.” But wait, I think, this can’t be right. Maybe I’m missing a point in my notes that can lead me on. More input means more output, right? I cling to this idea because I don’t trust myself enough to know how to continue. A comforting mindset is thinking that the brain works on its own during writing, as Hunt explains later in the article. It’s as if there is another entity working alongside me rather than blocking me. This is a trust fall. If I let myself write, the thinking from the brain will follow, and I will be rewarded with moments that remind me that I am not empty of ideas.

Likewise, detaching myself from my finished work is another trust fall that can help in the writing process. In doing so, I can gain a better sense of authenticity. Lynn Hunt received great advice about this from a prose writer and poet Donald Hall. She explained, “From him I learned that writing requires an unending effort at something resembling authenticity. Most mistakes come from not being yourself, not saying what you think, or being afraid to figure out what you really think.” If I think of myself as external to my writing, I will be less self-conscious about my arguments. This can lead to being more comfortable with sharing my writing with others, whose perspectives can provide great insight. In addition, I will also be more welcoming of influence from other writers and how they express their authenticity.

I am in a constant fluctuation between trusting and not trusting when it comes to writing. The Sweetland Minor in Writing will challenge me to increase my trust in the idea that writing will lead to thinking. This will come in many manifestations: teaching me to think critically about my writing and the writing of others, encouraging me to share my writing with peers, and having me question why I write certain things. My main goals are to get better at trusting the writing process. It can difficult, but each step towards it makes it feel a little more possible. No matter how hard it can be, I will always look forward to the reassuring black replacing the white on my computer screen.

Katrina Soyangco

Katrina is a BCN and writing minor student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She hopes to someday become a physician, although not quite sure what kind yet. She’s not as cool as her older brother but strives to be.

One thought to “Writing Is a Trust Fall”

  1. “The color white is intimidating on a computer screen” is such a strong and luring first sentence. I love how you talk about your vulnerabilities and go in depth on how you transformed throughout the article. I agree that at times you have to detach yourself from your writing, however I think that the most passionate writing comes from individuals who are so connected to their writing that they are unwilling to part ways with it, and it turns into something beautiful. I also related to your section about note taking and feeling like a great paper has to be backed by copious amounts of notes. I’ll have to work this year on finding a few reliable notes that are useful rather than reading hundreds of articles that don’t help me. Also I loved how you ended your blog with a connector to the beginning!

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