Entomological Description

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Sydney, NSW, Australia
I'm a Christian husband currently finishing a Software Eng degree and wondering what God's plan for my life is. I sleep soundly in the knowledge that time will assuredly answer that question with little effort on my part.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The value of editing

I haven't done any proper sustained writing since high school. Doing an Engineering/Maths degree at uni has restricted the forms in which I write to the bland "report", the almost entirely symbolic "proof" and the all-but-regurgitation "article".

I'd really love to write something approaching an "essay", and to do it properly. The Borrodalian pieces that I wrote served primarily a venting purpose, but deadlines meant that they were always poorly edited and rarely well thought out (with a couple of exceptions).

So while listening to Tony Payne (http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au) talk about his experience as a professional writer at church the other day, I pondered the possibility of producing a written work myself. Something which has no publishing deadline, no spur-of-the-moment, bee-in-my-bonnet, crisis-of-the-minute kind of agenda, and something in which I can invest a modicum of time actually editing. My first thoughts on any given subject are rarely totally correct, but my Jedi training as a debater has gotten me into bad habits of justifying any kind of persuasive sounding argument in order to sound convincing, rather than pursuing objective reasoning.

This is a problem.

So what shall I write about? My current thinking is that this project will be of short book length, be written on a worthwhile subject and have some value to people other than me. But I have no current intentions of publishing it in any way, except maybe to this blog. In addition, I hope it could get me into some good working habits, because sod all else has.

I could write about something I know something about, but I have this sneaking suspicion that in doing so I would simply re-present all my existing, preconceived, and not well-researched ideas, thereby avoiding the point of the exercise. The alternative is to find a field which I know little or nothing about, and seek to become knowledgeable just for the sake of the project. Ultimately, I suspect I'll have to reach a compromise and relearn some things that I feel like I already know.

So, oh few readers (only 4 through FeedBurner, as I write this) of this, my lowly contribution to the blogosphere, what think you? Any ideas for a worthwhile subject of my writing project? Be warned that you will probably never see the fruits of any suggestion you may choose to make!

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