Byssus has been written (perhaps not the correct term) so far utterly for my own benefit and as a study aid for the subjects that interest me. Background here is that it has kept me amused as I have dealt with some rather typical Scottish and somewhat sobering health issues. Seen some serious improvement time at least to attempt to write properly or fail utterly in the attempt (it matters little and the attempt to push and produce eventually something original always carries such risk).
Writing takes a significant amount of effort for dyslexic folk like myself. On the blog I have done something I would never have attempted while at university. Allowed a first draft to be seen by anyone. The Latin monster, witchcraft thing below is an example of me starting the processes to produce a finished essay. Its written as a stream of thought. The first half was done some time ago and is relatively finished, although it may change depending on how the other half shapes.First section is also devoid of any original thought, second is not much better at the moment, crude but my own. Not particularly bothered at the moment if the different subjects fit. The romantic type ending makes me want to reach for the sick bag at the moment ‘weeping stones’ uuuuuugh. But it seemed correct last night and may tomorrow. I walk past it and Arthur’s seat most days always brings with it thoughts on the geology, history, myth legend and Castle Rock drips with blood from its start in history in the 6th century onwards. But with writing particularly in draft you suddenly stray across a word line or sentence that seems to have be written by someone you don’t know. The illusion that we are one consistent thing shatters and some small part of me has a taste for a slight smattering of purple type prose that clearly I do not wish to acknowledge or recognize in the cold light of day.
Next stage is to chew through the sources again, identify bias (it is not as biased as it may seem if you are prone to read things out of context) add more primary material if needed. I can see my origins in sixth century history playing out at the moment, here you only have a tiny fragments of texts to work from so you run rather far with them particularly in early stage.
Next one more stream. This will add loads more noise but may produce if I am lucky something new into the pattern.
Last is worst of all. Have to spend about a month printing it 5 to 6 times a day, reading it out, correcting spelling and grammar slowly, wording properly and generally writing the real thing. At this point I often find that I have been thinking about something different all along under the surface and it just utterly goes somewhere else. Sometimes it remains on course with a recognizable original structure other times it stays on topic but little else will remain.
The utter creative uncertainty is pleasing little else is about the whole processes.
Not written anything that has gone through this processes here. Hopefully it will start to make a difference. One thing I notice is that blogging is a bitch with the type of subjects I like, not linear things and not sure if that works well in restricted short posts. But all that means is that the blog will remain a useful personal resource if little else. Witchcraft is not a major interest and I am about 5 years out of date with regard to the subject academically. First step into writing more fully rather than a wish to engage fully with the subject but that may change if anything interesting pops up.
One thing i have never done is recorded completely the processes of how I write. I am well aware of how I do it (or think I am) took years of trail and error to work out how. But using the blog seems to altering that processes. Not in the habit of leaving early fist drafts lying around as they are an embarrassing reminder. Middle stages get lost, crumpled, covered in coffee rings and stains only the final product is every kept as that is marginally more pleasing but also serves as a reminder of weakness and areas that need work. Common dyslexic issues with confidence are strangely helpful here. I find the way academics speak about their work and the confidence they have very strange (alongside its tribal groupings). I learn by repeatedly making error, slowly and painfully identifying it and building on that basis. I would hope I have more expertise in the subject than someone who has never studied or read on it but that is about as much as I would be comfortable to claim.
Subjects I like are not science based they are not a vast oasis of academic certainty. I suppose that is why I like reading Lord Monboddo. Paradox and contradiction. That tension between the dynamic and the static, nonsense and sense. Drawn to it like a moth to a flame. And as I imagine a moth to think I have put about the same amount of thought into what attracts me to such things. Very little other than to run with it. With Lord M. some of his peers did mutter darkly and point to the paradoxical heart of his being and a few others have done, but it has been largely lost in the avalanche of ridicule that surrounded him both in his time and beyond and in the way literal reading and a demonstration of what he is not and can never have been in life (a being out of his time, an example of what is to come or an example of the error that is the past. Depending on individual inclination) has been a strong strand in what little is written about him. Placed out of his body and time he becomes a static object through which other things are to be measured and contrasted. Or perhaps I am thinking to heavily on post about witchcraft and how easy that subject is to tip over from history into a similar being out of time.