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Anxious gatekeeping

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

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rule #9

Festina lente.

The idea here is "deliberate haste." In other words, you should be in hurry to get your research done, with some sense of urgency, but you shouldn't rush yourself on any particular day. Or you can sprint on a particular day, but without forgetting that your writing is a marathon that consists of many individual "legs." The don't have to be fast if you are steady (slow and steady wins the race). Speed is a by-product of endurance, since you won't be able to write an article in a single day anyway.

If you can manage the balance between speed and slowness, you will be the master of time rather than its slave. Small windows will open up where you can get a disproportionate amount of work done. You will have free evenings when you don't have to write at all. That is why "festina lente" is one of the top 10 rules.

1 comment:

Professor Zero said...

Another excellent rule. In fact, the most important ... at least for me.

I started to get scared of working after I finally succumbed to years of exhortation about how when you worked, you always had to be going as fast as you possibly could, to prove you weren't lazy, and I discern even more subtly, to demonstrate to your inquisitors that you did not already have methods or rhythms or anything of your own (which would have been a major sin).

(It is truly amazing to consider the number of completely weird people I've worked for, thinking back on it.)