Featured Post

Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Deliberate Writing

Have a reason for everything you do when you are writing. I don't mean that you have to be paralyzed with self-consciousness, but writing is highly charged with intentionality. You choose one word over another, you choose to change or not a change a sentence to avoid passive voice.

When you are learning to be deliberative, you will agonize over every sentence and move very slowly. Then, certain decisions will become habitual and won't require conscious decisions.


Andrew Shields said...

My students are sometimes horrified by how much work they have to put into an essay to write a really good one, but I tell them that someday they will be able to write much faster because of that "habitualization" you mention.

Thomas said...

I remember very clearly having an epiphany when my wife, who is a rhetorician, described a text as the result of a series of decisions. (Wayne Booth, I think, defined the "implicit author" in literary analysis as the decision-maker.)