Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Here's another mathematical model of my writing process (like the previous one, this image is supposedly from a student's test paper).

I conceive an idea for an article and outline its basic components (represented here by the equation and its variables). Then it's time to expand the outline by substituting real information (research data, anecdotes, quotes) for those abstract variables. And my first pass is to do essentially what Peter did -- I press the Enter key a bunch of times throughout the outline, introducing white space as a placeholder for the concrete material.

But unlike Peter, I then gradually add the material. The white space disappears and the outline's loose weave tightens. Where it remains loose is a call for attention: maybe more research, maybe a reconsideration of whether the section is necessary.

In the meantime, the smile I get from Peter's response buoys me through the hard work.

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