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culture

On Writing

All writing is experimentation. Hemingway suggested that there is no good (first draft) writing, that all the quality emerges from rewriting and while I do not doubt that there is wisdom in this – I find that words flow most smoothly as though of their own accord; the essence of an idea, a concept, an idiom is either there at first stroke, or it is not and – a little like love – will be unlikely to emerge later if it is not there from the beginning.

I often return to reshape the subtleties, the nuances, the sound, “colour” and placement of words. Electronic media is clearly perfect for this. I have also spent years engaging directly with other minds through (online) text, refining my art, exploring the invisible, extensible worlds of words and endless imagination. What I love most about language is that as a tool of thought, it is indefinitely extensible: any pattern you make can be rearranged, warped, twisted, inflected into anything at all and, while the grammatical axioms of any specific language might appear as though chains from one view, they are simultaneously the wings upon which imagination soars and through which it might communicate – not only with others, but – with itself. It is beautiful: writing is (a precious) freedom.

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