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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Practice of the Window

It's important to distinguish between Jonathan's theoretical "window" and what Tara Gray calls "big blocks of time". The former are openings in an otherwise structured writing schedule, while the latter are illusory expanses of time, always off in the future, when the things you aren't doing now will, you imagine, get done.

I work in highly structured periods of eight weeks at a time, grouped together before and after the fall break and before and after the Easter break. Those 32 weeks are really the basis of my productivity. But in January, June and August (July is normally vacation), I relax my planning and enjoy the freedom of not having very many pressing things to do. This does sometimes allow me to produce quite a lot of prose on certain projects, and this summer, just before going on vacation, and after coming back, I did manage to draft out a paper, letting it consume me during the course of whole days, sometimes nights as well.

But now I'm back on my schedule, working on the same paper one hour at a time, and it is this work, not the work done "in the window", that will make the paper publishable. So, keep the practical function of windows in mind. You don't want your house to be all windows. It's only in the context of a larger structure that a window serves a purpose.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

Good points. I couldn't have made them better myself.