I Wish I Could Understand My Notes

They are on two unrelated writing projects. They say:

+ Cadena would say race does not exist in LA as it does here, but how was THAT idea produced given that thinking about race is so prevalent there?

+ Look at Piedra.


+ I may be able to figure this out if I forgive myself for not having been able to figure it out yet.

+ Material circumstances matter and the exhortation to “rise above them” is idealist. The whole Professor Zero blog is about this. PZ used the blog to combat depression and procrastination that did not have to do with spiritual attitude or poor work skills but with material circumstances and material projects.

+ I am looking at the Boice book, Professors as Writers, on this. It is about writing and he is perfectly correct on every point. But he does not address what I would address. Those are things like: are you following advice or guidelines you know are not correct? do you really like your project, as in, you would like it even if it were not the “practical” thing to be writing? if not, is the reward for it (i.e. getting to pass a course, getting to stay in a graduate program you want to stay in) attractive enough?


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3 Responses to I Wish I Could Understand My Notes

  1. kiita says:

    I don’t like the Boice book. I recall being pretty disturbed by the vitriol against perfectionism, and the overall message to become a writing machine. I may be confusing this book with another one but I’m following a memory-hunch here.

    I know you’re working on several projects but I think several of your blog posts on Professor Zero would make a better book.

  2. profacero says:

    Hi Kiita and gracias! What I hate most in the Boice book is the idea that you should start writing before you’re ready. Also that you should outline. I’ve never done either. I choose a day on which I will be ready and plan for it, and then start writing that day as though for an exam. In the meantime I’ve blocked things out, but not outlined. I also don’t like Boice’s condescending tone … it’s as though he were talking to sixth graders or something, people who have never done serious homework.

  3. profacero says:

    There is a lot more on Boice in my other blog.

    But what I keep noticing in general are two things.

    1. Social and economic. It is pointless to try and tell people all problems are theirs and none are those of the situation. It is much easier to deal with a problematic situation if you are allowed to name it.

    2. Everything always improves once you start work and keep on working – but that is only the case of you are marginally comfortable and can name the situation you are in.

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