On making a mess


I saw this photo of Obama’s speech and was inspired.

The following is from Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day, pages 33-34:

“How does one really begin to write? William G. Perry Jr. has described the process succinctly: ‘First you have to make a mess, then you clean it up.’ If you think about the implications of this statement, you quickly realize that how you write is up for grabs: no more neat outlines with Roman numerals to follow, no elegant topic sentences for each paragraph, maybe not even any clear sense of where you’re going.”

I use that idea when I teach writing courses. I believe it applies any type of writing. Once people accept the premise, it frees the writer to do what is needed. To write something.

Clearly Obama knows this. I’m glad to know that someone still uses a pen. And that the person “running the country” cares about what he says enough to make a mess.

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5 responses to “On making a mess

  1. Oh, what freedom that offers!

  2. I know, I love the humility. Who knows if he knew the photo was being taken, but still.

  3. I love that ‘make a mess then clean it up’ notion. It’s a bit inspiring.

  4. Thanks, Billy. Not my own, but I love it too.

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