Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Watching the forest grow

Because we're cramming an entire summer's worth of travel into the four weeks before classes start--not really our idea! it's what happens when you have family on both coasts!--I've had little time to write, whether here or elsewhere. One of the few tasks I've managed has been starting the long and tedious process of downloading my eleven-plus years of blog posts into a Word document. Since CTRL-C / CTRL-V doesn't require a lot of brainpower, it's ideal for the 30 or 45 minutes I have free before dinner or while waiting in an airport lounge with screaming children and MSNBC blaring over my shoulder.

I haven't been reading the posts carefully, but I've been reading them. And as with my grad school journals, you'd better believe I Have Thoughts about it all. Without the time to elaborate on those thoughts, though, I'll leave you with this ten-year-old description of my strengths and weaknesses as a writer (specifically, the fact that I'm a better reviser than generator of ideas). It remains as true today as it was then:

I'm a craftsman, not an artist. I'm fine with that. But here's where the analogy breaks down: do we ask the master woodworker to go out and create wood? To grow the trees, harvest them, and make lumber before he gets down to making his fancy lintels or whatever? That's what I feel I'm doing when I start writing--growing the fucking trees. And it's usually about as much fun as watching the forest grow.


Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Lol. I love it. I will grow your trees if you will make them into something fabulous. 😜 I have no end to my ideas, but not as much time as I'd like to do anything with them. If I had a TA, life would be very different.

Notorious Ph.D. said...

This is great.

BTW, I've been away, so I missed it: why are you downloading everything into a word doc?

Flavia said...


You didn't miss anything--this is a new development!

Shortest explanation is that I'm growing increasingly paranoid about the long-term stability of this platform, and I want to make sure I have full control over the past eleven years (!!!!!) of this part of my writing life. I meant to start doing it years ago and never got around to it.

But there are also some bits & pieces I may want to fiddle with for other purposes.

Comradde PhysioProffe said...

"growing the fucking trees" = LOVE IT!