Mar. 13th, 2010

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(warning; drunk entry)

I am sitting here with a mostly finished bottle of wine, waiting for the corned beef to finish, with a new house plant and a candle. But what I am primarily writing about today is the effect that writing has on my mind.

I read various and diverse things every week. Usually academic articles, sometimes fiction (sometimes fanfiction). And I find that, for a time, just after I read something, my mind takes on its patterns. For a brief while, last night, I thought in the stream of consciousness style of the steampunk novel I had purchased that day.

Similarly, if an article that I read has a definite style, I may fall into that for a while. Even other people have remarked upon this; when I write reviews of longer thins like books, my chair has been known to comment that I take on their style.I don't know if it is unsettling or fascinating that my mind can be so versatile. I think the phenomenon is based partly on my ability to tune in an ensemble in band; the ability to detect and conform to the norm.

The very pliable characteristic of my mind makes writing a challenge; I don't struggle with basic thins like grammar, but the the essential question of style. This is probably a good thing in an academic; there is nothing so frustrating as reading the work of someone who cannot communicate their ideas, even when those ideas seem like good ones. And the most engaging academic writers don't necessarily write in academese, but in words that are understandable by every one. So I'll take this malleability. And I will do fine things with it.

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