Rendered Fat Content

WritingSummary: 4/25/2023

Jessie Willcox Smith: Heidi writing (1922)

Refreshed if Groggy
I primarily create my weekly writing summaries for myself. I need the reminder of how I have spent my week, of what I've discovered. Once written, an insight's quickly forgotten, buried beneath subsequent discoveries. As I've assembled my latest manuscript, I have discovered plenty. I've been continually stumbling upon identities I'd forgotten I'd ever assumed, stories written in stone but still somehow lost, bits and pieces needing connecting. These stories do not just connect themselves. Connection requires deliberation, focused attention, and clear intentions. I catch myself over-anticipating creating these summaries. Come Thursday, I foresee a lengthy effort coming Friday morning. Often, something happens on Thursday that leaves me late to bed. The alarm rings almost viciously come early Friday morning. Still, I finish the summarizing effort, pleased with myself for having done it, for it marks a milestone as I create my next manuscript. I start my new writing week refreshed if groggy, clearer about my recent history, and ready to proceed into the upcoming unknowns.


I began this writing week by pulling a Heisenberg on myself, Obswerving my manuscript assembly process. "I watch myself observing only to catch my understanding swerving off in unanticipated directions."
Vincent van Gogh:
Terrace and Observation Deck at the Moulin de Blute-Fin, Montmartre
(early 1887)

"The finished work isn't finished …"

I bemoaned Publishing's shift away from content and toward trading almost exclusively in attention in *Clicks, which proved the most popular posting this period. "I'm not above provocative titles, but I'm also not quite beneath still believing that content somehow matters."
Albrecht Dürer:
The Four Horsemen, from The Apocalypse (c. 1498)

"How do I compare thee to a provocative headline?"

I reported on a dream that visited me, one within which I was cast as a detective chasing down clues to who I might be in MysteryWithin. "Where one once believed they might find the answer, they come to understand that any explanation, The Answer or any other one, was never really the point of the experience."
Paul Gauguin: Arlésiennes (Mistral) (1888)

"He always was before."

I concluded that my manuscript would receive a better reception if, instead of painstakingly assembling it, I employed Joystaking instead. "The proper sense with which to engage might be better labeled Joystalking, for future readers will notice if the coming together doesn't happen with a joyful spirit."
Odilon Redon: Centaur Taking Aim at the Clouds (1895)

"Edit with a light heart."

I spoke next of progress and the curious ways I think of measuring it after receiving a report that I'd processed TwoMillionPlus words while preparing my latest manuscript for publication."[ Progress] will be accurately misrepresented by counting the millions of words or impressions represented therein as if those might offer useful comparisons with anything real or imagined."
Giovanni di Paolo:
Saint John the Baptist Entering the Wilderness (1455/60)

"… we periodically pretended together that it was."

I ended my writing week feeling Resolute, for I seemed to have broken through the process into approaching doneness, finally. "The Resolute count their chickens as if they've already hatched, for they might just as well have hatched, even if they haven't. This confidence colors every subsequent action."
O. Louis Guglielmi: The River (1942)

"Where another inertia ruled the start, its counterpart commands the finish."

This writing week seemed to be all about difference, where not even an otherwise simple observation could deliver information without swerving on its way in. The figure/ground puzzle containing content and attention seemed to be arching toward the vacuous, which might leave the manuscript I've been busily assembling at a competitive disadvantage. I acknowledged both the unavoidable mystery within and the inadequacy of finally finding any correct answer. The mystery seemed somehow eternal and essential. I discovered a better metaphor than painstaking for manuscript assembly work, Joystaking. I once again encountered the fundamental paradox of progress when counting how many words I've juggled on this Publishing project. I ended my writing week a day early but Resolute because when the resolution's finally in sight, one might reasonably start counting and counting on those unhatched chickens. On the last day, I continued my manuscript assembly, almost finishing. Thank you for following along on this curious adventure.
©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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