Writing is hard
Posted 06 June 2005 - 01:45 PM
The reason I haven't been participating much lately is because I have finally found the discipline to turn my doctoral dissertation into a full-time job. I spend all day, every day at the library, staring at my laptop, trying desperately to string together a few sentences that I don't hate.
The problem, I think, is that I'm a better reader/editor than a writer, so I'm constantly, obsessively reworking the same lines. It's incredibly gratifying when something turns out well, but, man, I really wish it would get easier.
Posted 06 June 2005 - 02:37 PM
Posted 06 June 2005 - 02:53 PM
Edited by Darren H, 06 June 2005 - 02:56 PM.
Posted 06 June 2005 - 03:27 PM
Anyway, good luck, Darren.
Posted 06 June 2005 - 03:49 PM
Here's another one to go hand-in-hand with that: "The easiest thing to do on earth is not write"-- William Goldman
Posted 06 June 2005 - 04:10 PM
Posted 06 June 2005 - 05:49 PM
It's writing so that others understand what I'm getting at...that's the hard part.
Posted 06 June 2005 - 06:27 PM
Of which it is hard - even for those who've written much and well, to compose and be read. Of ogres and times long ago, where perhaps people of that very same trade of the pen didn't toil so ceaselessly.
- In honor of Bortz.
Posted 07 June 2005 - 08:28 AM
If I send you their email addresses, would you mind forwarding that message to my committee as well?
Thanks for the encouragement, Ken. I've always said that my dissertation would be much easier to write if I weren't so interested in the subject matter. But I really want it to be good -- that and the fact that I'm not sure I want a career in academia have conspired against me throughout this entire process. I'm feeling a bit schizophrenic.
Posted 07 June 2005 - 09:21 AM
It seems that two or three pages a day is a good goal for dissertation writing, it is all the legwork that goes into those two or three pages that gets me. And then the amount of time necessary to make sure that those two pages are formatted correctly, and then the hours that go into editing out the mistakes your supervisor finds, and then the hours spent on the final copy. And then there is always the chance that your committee will call for more revisions.
And then the realization you have just written and painstakingly edited 350 pages that only 10 people will ever read.
Hope that cheers you up.
Posted 07 June 2005 - 09:36 AM
(Crying like a baby is a little thing I learned from Stef.)
Posted 07 June 2005 - 09:48 AM
Let's see: The four members of my dissertation committee, me, maybe my parents. That's seven. Looks like I'll need three more readers to sustain Ken's made-up stat. Volunteers?
Posted 07 June 2005 - 09:50 AM
Well when your best buddy is leaving town, there's not a whole lot else you can do.
Edited by stef, 07 June 2005 - 09:51 AM.
Posted 07 June 2005 - 10:01 AM
Sure, I'll take you up on that. You do have me beat by three people right now though. My wife sat down at the kitchen table the other day and said: "Here, let me read through your proposal and edit it for you." Of course I was right chuffed ("right chuffed" means "really happy" over here) to have her do so. I literally looked over ten minutes later and she was asleep and drooling on the word "writerly" at the bottom of the second page.
Oh man, that was really nice. Now I feel bad for making fun of you...D.W. Murnau.
Posted 07 June 2005 - 10:18 AM
Darren, I'd love to read your dissertation. I can't promise substantive critiques, but I'd be happy to read it. What's ABD?
Posted 07 June 2005 - 10:27 AM
Perhaps a more apt analogy though would be "...is to Stef what The Thing With Two Heads was to Lee Frost.
Posted 07 June 2005 - 10:59 AM
Edited by stef, 07 June 2005 - 11:03 AM.
Posted 07 June 2005 - 11:19 AM
Posted 07 June 2005 - 12:12 PM