Friday, September 02, 2016

Fast writing versus slow writing

Twice this summer I wrote 10,000 word articles in three days.  Neither is posted yet, but they will be soon (my dialogue piece on tax planning and social justice; my piece on the Treasury White Paper on EU state aid). Each time the writing was a flow process, and I think they read well.

Not a similar process for my literature book.  Today I had my first chance in a couple of weeks to take up my chapter on E.M. Forster's Howards End.  I spent several hours reworking the first 800 words or so, which I've already labored on a bit, and I feel that the intro is finally rounding into shape - a judgment that (if sustained) implies that it will look as if it had just flowed.

This chapter still has a chance of being one of the easier ones, mainly because I'm starting to understand better just what I'm actually trying to do, plus I early on detected my through-line for Forster.  But the time to output ratio is just a tiny fraction of those for the other items, even just counting the writing process (i.e., without regard to the time spent reading and re-reading the works, and then on a significant literature review).

What with classes, talks, and other responsibilities, I'm unlikely to be spending much more time on the Forster chapter over the next few weeks (except perhaps in airports and on planes).

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