Dilettantish


I'm experiencing a serious case of writer's block -- and it's affecting both of my poor parched blogs as well as any attempts at scholarly writing. I can't even say why this is -- some vague sense of paralysis -- a lot of anxiety about the sort of writing I've been doing for these past two years. For how can I characterize the writing here? It varies so much from effusions of one sort or another to attempts at the distillation of an idea, to shoddy paraphrases of something I found interesting.

And I'm beset by a mixed sense of confidence as well -- confidence in my abilities in the classroom -- for once again I'm sensing that process in the classroom -- noticing the shifts of a conversation, testing the currents, asking questions and seeing as my own thoughts far outstrip my ability to observe them. It was my favorite sense from before -- a tangible knitting-together of my own thoughts -- I could see them as they incorporated what was said by others -- I could watch and tell when something was coalescing, crystallizing. And I have that heart-thumping sort of sensation -- it always happens when I'm on the verge of speaking, but only in the seminar, not in the other classes where I've found myself drawing -- patterns mostly, repetitive geometric tiling.

But the writing is a problem. I worry about this paralysis which I've felt before -- in NY when the jargon of the legal world started to take over my mind. And I also worry that my writing has always been my weakest area -- muddled, over-extended writing. Painful almost. I include too much, explain too much -- no sense of rigor or clarity. The constant comment is 'you tell a good story.' But here, with these logicians and doctors of analysis -- I fear that my flabby, rhapsodic writing will be shredded. I suppose it's the fear of being shown to be a dilettante and not some sort of 'noble' amateur.