draftings & scaffoldings

i don't have a desk. this makes me a little bit mad. because who needs a desk to write. i mean how spoiled of me. and what a convenient excuse for not writing. but also because i really love desks. big old desks with drawers. simple drafting tables. this is one part writerly impulse and two parts office supplies fanatic. i love paper clips, colored paper. empty notebooks. felt-tip pens. etc.

this all gets me thinking about process. and what I call the writer's process. For the most part, I have been institutionalized to think of writing as a process. one in which the writer drafts and drafts and drafts and draft and after time and revision and peer feedback a final product comes about. with my younger students, we had a paper-clipping system that helped them see how revision and editing is part of writing. for my college students, this process was more flexible. but it definitely included multiple visions/revisions/versions.

i'm wondering about the writing process. and how some poetry teacher from long ago told me my poems were too much scaffolding and not enough writing. at first I nodded and thanked her. it did make sense. lots of my work began with random or odd beginnings, and down the middle of the page i began talking about "what i really wanted to talk about." this makes sense. this still makes sense. my job as a writer (an editor) was to seek out the scaffolds and tear them down from the final product. or to cut the poem in half. or to find the one line in the writing that "works" and start a new poem. or...

i am supposed to strip down my writing. like a banana. like a lover. and get to the meat of/from the text.

[ in a more thoughtful post, perhaps I'll write about how the writing process perhaps mimics the ideology that nothing (should) come easily. there must be work/process involved. writing, among other things, must be labored. ]

my recent concerns with "the writing process" come from a blog discussion on genre-hygiene. they also come from my deskless situation. revision creates cleaner/clearer writing. writing that has been cleaned up. i know i've used that term with my students-- and my writing teachers have used that with me. I've had my sentences cleaned up with a comb. and, I will admit, it does make the writing more pleasant. but what is this impulse and where does it come from?

Certainly there are distinctions between academic, creative, group writing-- etc. The type of writing that goes in your journal, the type that goes on a blog or in a book. But it certainly seems that the more public the writing, the more the need to clean it up. brush its teeth, and so on.

not sure where I'm going with this. thoughts...

I'd write more but i need to go take a shower. ha.ha.

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