Tuesday, December 13, 2011

writing rush

Today, I have to get my off-his-feed son to the doctor, so the morning habits are interrupted ....

A draft paper came from the nice young man who came on Sunday to the zendo looking for information to incorporate into a bit of homework. Ben wanted, he said, to make sure he quoted me correctly and that his understanding was more or less on target. It was thoughtful, I thought.

But put a piece of writing in front of me and, shazzam!, the wheels start turning. I'm like a shark in blood-tainted water. What's missing? What's unclear? I don't care that I was part of his writing or that he was writing about something called "Buddhism." What I instinctively -- knee-jerk might be more appropriate -- cared about was how well the thing held together in terms of itself and the writer's apparent intent.

What an informative rush of editorial and/or pedagogical chatter! I wanted to lend a hand and was irritated by the kid gloves that most writers demand ... this is my baby and I will defend her to the death; these are my creations and woe betide the interloper! I've done the same, so I know all about that love affair. But it interferes with getting things done. The writer has no obligation to follow my suggestions, but I dislike having to pussyfoot about making them.

I sent Ben a mostly soft note ... and that's the end of that.

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