My recent post on writing in response to a Foucault passage has received more notice than almost any other post I’ve made here. In particular, take a look at the different perspectives offered by Mark Purcell, Paul Simpson, Oliver Belcher and Clare O’Farrell in the comments, and a post by Clare on ‘Foucault and the author’.
I also posted some further comments on writing last year, that I’ve used when I’ve discussed this fascinating topic in workshop settings. You can find them here.
As I say there, there is no one way to write, to plan, organise, etc. but plenty of ways that don’t work well for people. Ideally, yes, I have completely uninterrupted time to write, and try to block out complete days, but those can be a scarce commodity. The days are hard to come by when teaching, and even when on research leave or fellowship reading, other projects, editing a journal, correspondence, etc. can intrude. So, for me, the way to ensure that the writing does not continually get deferred until that ‘clear day’ is to make time for it. I’m not quite sure I would want to run up against the clock (or a cooking timer!) as suggested by the Pomodero technique, but some structure certainly helps.
I liked Mark’s closing suggestion, which rightly shifts the emphasis from duty to delight:
I think if we want to write, to do it well and frequently, it is not so much about scheduling it properly (although that helps!). It is more about becoming aware of the delight in writing, learning when it comes and what it feels like, and deciding that is the reason we do it.