Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No outrage, no deep thoughts--just writing

I know it seems all tech tips and web-o-matic writing inspiration (but it does work) around here lately. The thing is, I've been spending time on the Big Project, and to do that, I have to talk to myself.

Talking to myself is taking the form of a research journal or writing journal in which I argue with myself--"Do you want to put in that part? Why not?"--that sort of thing. I write it out, and then I answer my objections, and then eventually I go away and write. A few bullets of this week:
  • After stuffing one already published piece into this new material I'm writing, I figured out that one chapter really needed to be two. No more stuffing, and a more coherent chapter--or at least I hope so.
  • My own NaNoWriMo this month was to try to get on 750words.com every day and write something. Sometimes I'd spend all day editing and rewriting, but when evening came, I started itching to get to that clean expanse of the site and type something. If you don't write, you can't edit and make what you wrote better, and even if what came out was repetitious, it worked: the repeated version was usually better and made the editing task easier the next day.
  • Writing this way made me realize again that writing is discovery. If I was writing in the research journal file or at 750words.com, I kept thinking of things as I wrote. I know--that's an old saw about writing, but it hadn't been working as well lately.
  • The problem with writing is that academics have to read before they can write: we can't spin webs like a spider unless we have the material already packed away somewhere from someone else's words. Unlike creative writers, we're spiders with a backpack of that kind of material, and once the backpack is empty, we have to fill it back up again no matter how much we might want to write.
  • I was so committed to this that I graded all the papers, tests, etc. at the very beginning of Thanksgiving break--I even felt like doing it then--so that I wouldn't have to think about grading or classes for the whole break.

    This isn't the most exciting post, but I didn't want you think this was becoming Pogue's Posts over here.
  • 3 comments:

    profacero said...

    Actually, it *is* an exciting post. Good for you!

    undine said...

    Thanks, profacero!

    Dame Eleanor Hull said...

    So true about the reading!