Friday, August 16, 2013

Not Athena

Learning a new thing has given me the opportunity to rediscover the process that I need to make something.  Each step is required and is laden with opportunities to improve the piece.

A thought arises.  Why?  Would anyone else be interested?  2-3 reasons or points are noted with key words.  Maybe there's an ending sentence to the thought, or maybe the thought is an ending to another thought that will precede it.  What perspective or point of view would be most compelling?  There are usually several points of view with their own compelling perspectives.

*Compose a few lines of thought.  Compose series of lines of a particular thought.  Look and re-read, re-arrange and edit for spelling, grammar, sentence and compositional structure, then recopy.**

Repeat * to ** at least twice, deleting and adding more content as required.  Each iteration reveals areas to improve spelling, sentence structure, and reinforce ideas.  Sometimes the initial thesis gives rise to another thesis and the original thought moves to the background or offstage.

Handwriting leaves the physical writing and most of the notes on paper, rather than the frequent disappearing act that often occurs on a word processor.  A messy draft is liberating because the paper holds scripted ideas that I can choose to pick up later - or not.  Whereas if I obliterated them with a word processor, even with changes "tracked", my tendency would be to try to remember those initial thoughts, and trying to retain information, for me, hinders my ability to develop new thoughts.  Seeing physical overwrites also allows me to be direct (some might say "brutal") with corrections - if something is not correct or does not work, strikeouts and re-arrangements are scripted without removing the initial thought.

Yes it all looks clean and organized on a word processor as thoughts are recorded, however the handwritten process works for me despite the apparent chaos of diagrams, strikeouts and skewed lines of text.  Furthermore the tactile nature of putting pencil (HB) or pen (fountain) to paper engages a part of me that stimulates thoughts to flow.  It seems that the time needed to hand-write is what I need to allow my thoughts to develop.  The tempo of my thoughts and hands are connected and complementary.

In the end, the finished piece has arisen from of the initial drafts and diagrams that appear chaotic but are essential in the refinement needed to complete the piece.

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