To think like Socrates, to write like Ian McEwan: the modest goals of Ignatian Educator

May 13, 2013 § 3 Comments

Over the last few days I’ve been pretty busy with matters at the school and with a few other writing projects. The interlude in posting has offered a chance to step back and think through some things without feeling compelled to wrap my winding deliberations into artful prose.

I’ve concluded — and this may be a surprise — that I am still adjusting to blogging, to the tension between wanting to write and the concern that, given the need to update unceasingly, I might not be doing it memorably well. Usually, when I write, I like to spend hours honing. I like to examine every word, every piece of punctuation, the entire landscape of syntax, sentence, and paragraph. In my most ambitious moments, I want to think like Socrates and write like Ian McEwan. But blogs, of course, are just not suited for that obsessive particularity. You have to send off your words with the occasional untucked shirt.

Over the last few days, moreover, I think I have realized that I’m going to have to change up my writing time. Right now, given my day job, I usually write at night. Once I start writing, it’s very difficult to stop, and a captivating subject can easily compel me to remain unsleeping long into infomercial time, into those hours of the darkness when the silence of the world drowns out all superfluous thoughts. This, as you can imagine, makes rising early an extraordinary feat, one that requires enough coffee to fill a UPS truck.

The writing shall continue, as it must, as it has to, as it will always. I have a few posts that are lining up in my head, impatient from remaining unwritten. I will be back tomorrow with fresh material. Until then, good night.

 

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§ 3 Responses to To think like Socrates, to write like Ian McEwan: the modest goals of Ignatian Educator

  • Val says:

    Just as long as it’s not writing like Stephen King, right? You’d never sleep at that point. Blogs are a weird thing, and it can be hard to “break the rules” that would make for more polished content.

  • memerson says:

    Very true re: King. I’m also not one for the horror genre.

    But the man knows how to arrange words. Maybe one day…

    • Val says:

      So did Hemingway (there is a balance). Fiction can be what it will, and I’m no great fan of King myself, but some of his work has crossed my desk as required reading over the years. Having worked as a tutor for various college-level composition classes many long years ago, because essays are such a different animal, when my students got that wordy we would have the “What are you really trying to say?” conversation (this from the girl who eventually turned in about 50 pp of supplemental essay material for her application to university…).

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