outwait outrun outwit


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"The writer who loses his self-doubt, who gives way as he grows old to a sudden euphoria, to prolixity, should stop writing immediately: the time has come for him to lay aside his pen."- COLETTE

The other day, I finished a paper on the uncanny afterlife of the utopian image, working through a cold I must have caught on the London Underground, drinking loads of hibiscus or peppermint tea and chicken soup. A crisis struck at one point, after reading the comments on my last paper. TT loves the fluency with which I can write on a given subject, but SR is right to ask me to slow down, to work though a few ideas rather than skimming over many. Looking over the last effort (knocked out in a week), I can see the guesswork and assumptions that riddle it and the haphazard assembly of my conceptual framework. Piece, rather than study. So, this time around, I checked myself two days before deadline. I decided on the hypothesis that I had only previously pointed to in earlier papers and I used every paragraph to explore only the components of that supposition, discarding all the shiny pretty bits that had previously sent me off on tangents. I worked directly with the material that I had previously been talking around. I don't know if the paper is any better this time, but I suppose I need doubt to keep me on my toes.


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