Friday, September 21, 2007


I was thinking about writing in this blog and realizing that the whole format is something unfamiliar. There's an appropriate informality that I have trouble working with because I am so used to the formalism of academic argument.

It's easy enough, of course, to find those who recommend following formulas and those who eschew them. It seems to me that the path of greatest power as a writer lies somewhere in between.

One does not want to be a slave to formulas, certainly. One does not want formulas to restrict imagination, or to otherwise limit the specificity of the situation.

On the other hand, one does not want to lose sight of what formulas do bring. Formulas are developed because of their practical utility.

Have you ever stared at a blank page wondering what to write? Formulas are good at avoiding that: they give you something to write.

I lose momentum on this blog because I expect myself to follow some formulas of writing that delay the rapid updating of a blog in a time and place where one must be new constantly.

I got a fortune in a fortune cookie that said "your strengths are your weaknesses." It's profound wisdom, with respect to many things, including formulas.

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