Irv’s answer to question 2 reminds me of Cixous–and I think, a “project” is just an extension of our thoughts, and we can’t order it the way we “order” work, and a “beginning” might just be a hard-to-pin down accessing of a pool of thoughts we’ve already known and have been swimming in for quite a while..
“To me writing is the fastest and most efficient vehicle for thought,” Cixous wrote inRootprints, “it may be winged, galloping, four-wheeled, or jet-propelled, etc. according to the urgency. All I want to do is to illustrate, depict fragments, events of human life and death, each unique and yet at the same time exchange able. Not the law, the exception. My kingdom is the instant, and of course I am not its queen, only its citizen. I always work on the present passing.”
Nola Studiola Q. #2: How do you feel when you start a new project? When are you afraid? How does it feel different from being in the midst of a project, and at the end of a finished project?
When I start a new project? It really depends on the kind of project. Starting to build something around the house (I just feel that I am doing what needs to be done) is different than starting to write a new book or research for a new article. I kind of slide into them. So I don’t feel anything in particular.
I’ve usually been thinking about a project for some time before I began it. I always have about four or five writing projects in front of me—so I may have been thinking and making notes and slight forays into a writing project before I begin it seriously. Then I turn to it when its turn comes—when I have finished the project before me. I guess I don’t think about new projects. I just seem to slide from one into another.
I don’t think about being afraid about a project. Maybe when I was doing my dissertation, I thought, you know I don’t think I’m really up to this, but I realized I just had to get it done. It was a hoop I had to jump through, and then I got on with my life. I remember in the beginning I would be casting around for a project—but that’s long over. Now I just have so many things I want to write. The words roll out of me.
And I don’t know about beginnings and middles and ends. I think there might be some sense of an end when I have finished something and I read it and think, finally, I got close to what I meant. But really—sometimes I don’t know when I’ve ended something. I’m usually into another project and I’ll be ending a project & I’ll think at some point, you know, that seems about right, and that’s when it’s over and I’m into something else. And then comes all the back and forth with editors & that’s a whole different thing—it becomes a collaborative project. For me, something is never truly finished.