I like to get it out the door [det gillar jag med!; parentetiskt sagt hämtade han
hämtat uttrycket från Tracy Kidders beskrivning av datoringenjörerna i The soul of a new machine]
When I talk with graduate students who have stalled on a dissertation, or academic friends who can’t write their research up or put articles into publishable form […] I begin lecturing them not to be perfectionists, to settle for what is good enought for the rest of us. I tell them I have never written a masterpiece and don’t ever expect to. What makes them different? Scholars who do get things done in a ’reasonable time’ […] explain that they write ’to contribute to science,’ ’to take part in the scholarly dialogue,’ or because ’writing is fun’. I talk that way. […] If you think of scholarly activity as a big game, then writing something, getting into the dialogue, or making a contribution can all be at least as much fun as clearing a PacMan screen [det här skrevs 1986, långt före World of Warcraft och The Sims]. If, however, you focus on getting things right, then this emphasis on production smells of compromise. The rhetoric sounds self-serving, even immoral.
Equating time spent and quality may in fact be empirically false. Painting teachers encourage students not to overpaint a picture, continuing to put paint on the canvas until an initially good idea is buried in a muddy mess. Writers can worry a piece to death, fussing over adjectives and word order […] More work may not produce a better product. On the contrary, the more we think about it, the more we may introduce irrelevant considerations and inappropriate qualifications
Relax and do it!.
So the solution for writing something that will not fully, logically, and completely master the chaos is to write it anyway and discover that the world will not end when you do. You might be able to do that by tricking yourself into thinking that what you are writing is unimportant and makes no difference – a letter to an old friends, perhaps [eller en bloggpost].
Så, det känns genast bättre.
Skrivandet går vidare. Inspiration (förstås!) från Becker, Writing for social scientists: How to start and finish your thesis, book, or article (1986).