Sunday, March 16, 2003

When stuck writing
I was not used to that, before I started writing the big thesis. My writing normally happens in quick, desperate bursts, almost trancelike, in the minutes between lectures, student supervision, meetings and the many other little tasks that make up the life of a teacher in a small, busy college in a half-forgotten corner of the world. While I wrote the thesis, I saw the shamanistic value of online places, and I used chats and games the way William Gibson, yes, the writer, uses ebay, and Jill uses writers' blogs. Or I wrote here, in the blog, about all the things which did not belong in the thesis.

Now I am however back to a writing rhythm with no writer's blocks. The last year and a half, while I have been back to my regular job as well as finishing the thesis, the moments when I have had the time to work on the thesis have been treasured. I have had to make an effort to be able to have the time, and after making that effort, very little could come between me and the keyboard. Yes, I have moaned that I have had a hard time here and there, but that has not been a writer's block, but a thinker's block.

To think the thoughts I need for the thesis is an effort. To grasps what I want to write about is to build my inner ivory tower block by block, and when I have left it for a while, for the worldly pursuits on the intellectual plains of teaching, the climb back up is longer and more exhausting every time. That is perhaps a bad sign: my work isn't smooth and easy to traverse, and my logic does not create an efficient machine that elevates me step by easy step to the peak. Perhaps have I not built a tower at all but a maze, with thorny hedges catching at the reader.

But when I find the unfinished part of this maze, the work itself is not hard. Traversing the old thoughts to this point though is like walking on roses... very painful.

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