Tuesday, August 23, 2011


You essay so as to discover, to find out what you may think about something that’s vaguely on your mind but needs eking out through the process of composing—of putting together—one thought after another into a more sensible mental construction, an elaborated and articulated formulation of thought—an essay.

Therefore, essaying is adventuring, undertaken for the thrill of exploring new pathways and viewing new vistas.  When you start out you don’t clearly know where you’ll go.  You haven’t been there before, and you’re eager to see what you’ll come upon or come up with as you press ahead, line after line on your writing tablet (or computer screen, if you must, but scribbling is more sensuous, tactile and manipulable).

Without the confined linearity of writing, your thoughts will buzz about like the electrons, like crackling static in your head; but writing gives them a wire to run through, forming an energetic current, a stream of contiguous thought taking a course toward a previously unpredictable conclusion.  What fun!