January 2, 2002

How I Write

I sit at my desk and try to think of something to say. When I think of something that seems half-right or half-interesting, I type it into the computer and read it over and think about it. Sometimes I go back to the previous sentence, or the beginning of the current paragraph or previous page, and think about what I wrote there. I do this again and again, and along the way I keep changing things.

The current piece is an apt example. I’ve been working on it for nearly an hour now, writing a clause or two, thinking about it, writing another, going back and changing what I wrote, moving things around, deleting, deleting, deleting. How different it would be if we were talking. For it appears, reading back, that I have a certain point in mind, when really I’ve discovered things as I’ve went, not knowing what, if anything, I would find.