Friday, February 17, 2006

Speaking of many texts...

Debbie Hawhee recently posted about finishing a chapter manuscript (congrats!). What I enjoyed about her post was the picture of her desk (re"printed" below). It's a great, familiar image of academic writing and it reveals a lot of details about familiar composing processes. Some of what I notice in such pictures are things like:
  • Post-It note bookmarks to help find key places in the text
  • Folders for grouping like/related info
  • Is it a Swingline? Also for keeping related texts together
  • The invevitable photocopied journal articles
  • Spiral notebook for creating new texts
  • Calendar, for coodinating the production of text over time
  • A buncha Burke
  • A folder organizer to help stage texts for later use (ditto the row of books)
  • Crumpled paper -- an unsuccessful text?
  • The Computer -- where it all comes together

About the creation of new texts... I think we often create "ancillary" texts when writing -- they're not the thing we're writing but something we have to create *toward* the thing we're writing.

What we can't see (here) is what all happened on-screen (like the "100+ footnotes" etc.). My desk is often relatively clean, because many of my texts are electronic. That's why I used screen-capture software when studying writing [example, 19M].


Anonymous said...

hey! just wait for a picture of my desk!!!

btw, it's (in)san(e)di -- cant remember my Blogger info :(

Bill said...

This reminded me of this: