I’m doing a couple things to get back in the saddle with writing.
First, I’m proofreading someone else’s thesis. This one’s a bit of a cheat though, because the author’s second language is English, so it’s a bit more about awkward phrasing than it is about conveying complex ideas. But, as my supervisor reminded me today, intricate ideas, more than anything else, need simple sentences.
I write a lot about the relationships between things, and my lack of clarity is often a byproduct of my own lack of structure. The book I read today called it conceptual and semantic hygiene. Finding my written voice is one-part trusting that what I say is representative and true, and another part being present to the experience of the sentence. The latter part means going slowly enough to let the structure emerge.
For something as massive as my thesis, there is a great chain of being. It starts with the words — subjects, objects, nouns, adverbs, adjectives and the like — and strings together into claims, evidence, warrants and qualifiers, woven ever-so-intricately.
Looking forward to spending some more quality time with Wayne Booth and The Craft of Research. 18 months ago