Craving Writing

At the start of this academic year, I vowed to cut back on my blogging. Not only to write fewer posts, but to write shorter ones. In part, I wanted to save my writing for other forums. I also wanted to experiment with different modes of approaching writing.

With the Koroga Collaborative, I was interested in seeing how a consistent approach to writing poetry would act on my thinking and prose. I do not yet have the distance necessary to note that effect.

A recently drafted chapter of my book tried to think in broad strokes over a long period, and there I was interested in trying to bridge history with literary criticism. Given that the chapter says nothing about literature, “bridge” comes the closest to how I wanted to write–to capture the narrative force and idea of change over time that structures history with the very close attention to language that shapes literary criticism. Again, I have no distance from the chapter yet.

In other just-completed and ongoing writing, I am trying to think about style and audience, to cultivate both, but also to think across both. Can an audience used to one kind of prose be seduced into another?

As the semester continues, as I sink deeper into the periods and bodies of work I teach, blogging becomes more difficult. In part, because I do not want to blog about what I am teaching–sure, I can give names, but I want to have arguments remain in suspension, to be colloidal, to let them chase each other around. I model, in my teaching, the labor of thinking through an issue. I try to be hesitant and uncertain even as I try to argue a case– I hope my students learn how to argue for the value of the contingent.

Other things I cannot write about yet, though I will probably post a draft of something short I am writing for something else. And, maybe, a version of something I have already written for something else.

It is this “something else,” this that “cannot” be named, at least not yet, that feels frustrating. In part because my strategy is always to braid various portions of writing, from the academic to the political to the creative. And the “not yet” feels more restrictive than I think it should.

Perhaps this is a too-long explanation for certain silences that are occurring. And a way to think about them and through them.

And, perhaps, I really do need to post something long(er) to feel less restricted. But then I would have to write it.