Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Holding pattern

In the same way that American singer/ songwriter John Denver observes on the title track of his 1981 album Some Days Are Diamonds "some days are diamonds, some days are stone," so goes the business of writing. For the past six months, I have been putting in exceptionally long days in my office at the university trying to say something intelligent about modes of cultural production and transmission. Now, if every minute could have been productive, I'm sure I would probably have something more profound to say. Yet, some days are diamonds . . . you know how the rest goes.

More often than not, the business of writing is just that, something one must do, a task one must labor over, muddle through, carefully chip away at a little by little. Now that I've disposed of the most obvious cliches, my personal response to the writing process is that it is just that, a process. For me, writing is a process that simply must be worked through, and waiting for a muse to speak is not an option.

With that said, the dissertation is to my committee and I have been in a holding pattern for the past three weeks: unable to make significant revisions; unwilling to do much writing other than that which I must; waiting to see what the dissertation defense scheduled on 4 June will hold.

While I have used the past three weeks to reformat and make minor revisions to the manuscript, I seem to have hit the ground running, trying to make up for lost time. In doing so, I have completely avoided my office, taken lots of day trips, spent time with family and friends, and I've even taken in two festivals (The 35th Annual Utica Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival and the 39th Annual New Straitsville Moonshine Festival)--more on these later.


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