Then, during the post-elevenses workshop, Dan Soule said, “What’s the point of your article,” and I thought, “What is the point of my article?” I didn’t even know I didn’t know, you know? So, on Tuesday afternoon, our first dedicated writing session, I read over the draft. What was the point of it? To my dismay, I discovered that the point could be one of a good many points. One of five or six points, in fact.
My god, I thought as I walked home on Tuesday evening, what am I even doing? What am I even writing about?
It seems pretty basic. I should know the point of my article or chapter or paper before I start writing. It should be a given. It’s a thing, right? A kind of dictum: know the point. And maybe it was the way he said it. It sounded to me a bit like, “You’ve missed the point, haven’t you?” And the answer in my case was, absolutely, yes, I have missed the point. Suddenly my point was no longer a thing: it was an absence. Did everyone else know the point?
Wednesday morning we tried out the Pomodoro timer. Initially, I thought I would just do a lot of copying and pasting, but everyone in G.22 seemed to be typing things. So I thought, well, perhaps I should try typing some things too. I looked over the introduction to one of the journal articles I had been reading and started to write my own introduction based on its model.
We wrote for a while, and the timer went off. We got up and made cups of tea. We sat down again, wrote for a while, and the timer went off. We got up, etc.
After a while, I went over what I had written. And there it was in all its point-ness: the point of the article.
Today is Thursday. It’s pretty quiet. There are piles of books on the long table in G.22 and cups of tea. We set goals on Muireann’s spreadsheet this morning, so everyone is typing, typing away.
#EdJoWriWeSatellite, are you out there? We hope to hear from our distantly circling friend very soon.