Showing posts from May, 2013

Trust Your Instincts

Sometimes - I don't know whether you get this - I feel a kind of wild call to take off down some other avenue of thought, usually when I'm deeply frustrated or bored with whatever I'm doing. I then run off and collect up whatever has piqued my interest, either ransacking my own shelves or buying a book or three. Eventually these wild calls ossify and I find a pile of books or other materials laying around, cluttering up my work space, and I think, 'Just what was it I had in mind then? Why are these books here? And I have to clear them up and put them away.

I did this yesterday. I've been struggling with an article that has been through multiple revisions, the time between each one expanding as I get progressively sicker of my own prose and further away from the idea or conception that produced the writing in the first place. This is a particular problem for academic writing as you have to immerse yourself in the body of scholarship that precedes your work, and many …