There is no escaping it. Writing is difficult.
Some writing requires hours of quietly wrought deliberation with one’s own thoughts. There’s no doubt, that good writing requires good thinking.
Good writing defies formula, defies quantification, and since I know this explicitly in my role as an instructor of writing, an editor of writing, and a writer about writing I find myself returing to an unsolvable equation.
In trying to teach writing, while acknowledging there is no solution, I do know that there are some processes which, if followed precisely, can lead to effective writing, or at the very least clarity.
Here is an interesting site that might help with writing and thinking: http://thegrammargang.blogspot.ca/2009/08/anatomy-of-essay-part-2-planning-before.html
Lahiri writes with simplicity and clarity using the “everlasting present” that lulls readers into the sense that the story continually exists. This contradictory sense of permanency and progression is, in so many parts of the novel, a bringing together of past, present, and future possibilities.
In her writing, Ashima is described as being “perpetually pregnant”. She has an arranged marriage that is, from my perspective, reasonably happy and successful. And, as I read this, I thought about my own pregnancies and the mutability of my identity which changed from daughter, to wife, to mother – the losing and gaining of self simultaneously, moving from a past to a new present pregnant with future possibilities. But Ashima feels that she has never quite regained her sense of self in this perpetual state of pregnancy.
I had to think about writing about thinking about the writing to figure this out.
I had to work through this process in trying to write an essay for The Namesake.
Writing is thinking is rewriting is rethinking – circular and infinite in possibilities.