Sunday, March 6, 2011


I am working on an essay based on a section of the memoir. There is certainly so much work to do on the memoir itself, yet I feel compelled to rework this piece, to approach the subject matter in this section from another direction, to see the story through a different lens.

There's an argument to be made that I'm simply avoiding the hard work of revision, but I think there's something more going on. One of my students complained about how hard it is to write an essay—"How am I supposed to develop a thesis when I don't even know what I think about this yet?"

"Who said you had to write the thesis first? Why not think of the writing as the process that will help you figure out what you think?"

She asked if that's how I do it. In the case of this essay, it turns out that's exactly how I do it.