So I'm writing again. I don't really count the other week, when I pumped out a 1000-word book review; not a bad book review, either, but not the sort of sustained argumentation/examination that feels like real writing.
I'd been avoiding this particular project – the one I'm embarked on – for some time. It's build around the armature of an opening talk I gave to a seminar, so I already have about 2500 words of sketchy prose, and a general direction of my arguments (tho those arguments get sketchier and more suggestive as it goes on). But for whatever reason I didn't feel comfortable directly revising the seminar file. The writing, for one thing, is terrible – it's mostly a matter of "here's what to say, make it eloquent as you talk – you can do that, you know..." And there's bales of stuff missing: most of the telling details (which I could count on myself to remember as I talked it thru) and all of the references to previous texts.
So rather than dive right into my seminar file and give it a massive makeover, I printed it out and settled down with a legal pad and my stacks of books, PDFs, and computer files. Then I began to entirely rewrite, line by line. It actually feels good. Yesterday I produced 1700 words (I typed them up this morning). I've hit my working pace, and with luck I should have two-thirds of this thing done before the summer's travels descend upon us.