Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Some words about writing
Before bed, I'm working my way through Gay Talese's A Writer's Life. It is a lovely, uplifting work. I love reading writer's observations about writing. They are always so descriptive and moving. I'm constantly nodding my head and thinking "yes, yes. exactly!" Especially on this passage:

Often I involve myself with two or three unrelated subjects at the same time, and I shift from one to another when I become bogged down and believe it wiser to put aside what I am doing and reappraise it at some point in the future...My curiosity drives me in different directions, but I until I have invested lots of my time--months, years--I have no idea whether a chosen subject will sustain my interest. Sometimes I toss into the trash various drafts of what I have written, while at other times I put them aside, file them away, reread them a year or two later, rewrite and refile them perhaps, or decide that they are not worth saving after all, and so I tear them up and rid myself of them forever. Writing is often like driving a truck at night without headlights, losing your way along the road, and spending a decade in the ditch.

I am still working on a piece that I started my first semester of my PhD work. It is now two years later and I still don't have it. I'm working on a new section of the literature review and I find myself really deflated and the excitement has most definitely waned. But the sad part is that it has taken me two years of aimless "driving" to arrive at this argument (the correct one) and now that I'm finally here, I want to stop. But I won't. Because that would be dumb.

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