you can’t always write what you want

patter

I seem to spend a lot of time these days writing things that I don’t much like, things that I don’t want to write now, or perhaps ever. This writing feels like a chore, an obligation, a duty, a necessity. What’s more, it doesn’t feel like ‘me’. It seems mechanical and as if I can’t put anything of myself into it.

My list of writing I don’t want to do includes a lot of predictable bureaucratic essentials: reports of projects; reports of activities of the research centre I direct; reports about research activities for audit purposes and reports on student progress. But it also includes some writing which will make a difference for other people and so I must do this even though I don’t enjoy the writing: references; letters of support; reviews of papers, bids and book proposals; assessments of various theses and assignments.

Both of these –…

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