“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly.”
-David McCullough, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner from Pittsburgh, PA
This is the quote that I put on my students’ journal writing guidelines. I wanted them to keep response journals during our reading of “To Kill A Mockingbird” (one of my favorite books!) and they were less than enthused about the writing aspect. I stuck this quote on the sheet that went inside their journals, and we had a discussion about it. Eventually the kids got to the point that if you’re a smart, clear thinker, you should be able to express those thoughts out loud and on ink and paper. I was quite proud of them.
I like this quote because for us established writers, about 50-75% of our thoughts probably revolve around our current writing projects (at least for me). If we’re making substantial progress, it means we’ve got clear minds and nothing is clogging those creative channels. However, on the days where we hit the wall or ride the “struggle bus,” it’s a sign that we need to stop and take a breath, clear our heads, and try to get rid of whatever is blocking us from that free flow of writing that we all strive for.
Good luck and happy writing!