Well, that’s an excellent question.
I’ll let you in on something: I post these essays the second I type the last period. It takes me about an hour to format them, and once they are up, I read the essay a lot: five, six, seven times is not unusual. I might read it again within the following 24 hrs as I check the comments. And then I never look at them again. Ever.
Now in talking to other writers, I find that this is not all that uncommon. It’s hard to go back over old material, since you see so many things you want to change. Your thinking has progressed since you wrote it. In fact, your thinking has progressed because you wrote it. Anyway, it comes in varying degrees from mild embarrassment to acute pain (and, to be fair, a large number of “that’s not too bad” moments, as well.)
With SILENT AMERICA, I seem to have two different classes of essay: the timeless ones like TRINITY and FREEDOM and the dated ones like WAR and CELEBRITY. It’s the latter that are blocking my mental.
So I’m going to pull those from the book. And since I have to charge more than I would like for such a small run, I have decided that it is past time for another old-school, Godzilla-sized smack-down essay, which will be next. I believe it will be STRENGTH.
Now, through my shadowy connections to certain High Masters of the Priory of Scion, the Knights Templar, and Your Friendly-Neighborhood Freemason conspiracy, I will — in addition to my regular job and construction of my airplane — be studying and flying for my Instrument, Commercial and CFI ratings, all of which I intend to have by the middle of summer. Which means, as usual, I’ll be a busy little Steely-Eyed Missile Man.
Next week is an odd week at work, though. I hope to have it somewhere in there. I may have mentioned that I generally write these in one or two marathon sessions; and until then, there is still a little more Cogitating and Pondering to do. So while you are waiting, go read Rachel Lucas and Kim and My Liege Lord and Den Beste and Belmont Club and Little Green Footballs. And if you are really, really desperate and have absolutely nothing worthwhile to do with your time, I suppose you could also go here.
I have never taken more than two sittings to write an essay. STRENGTH will require four, if not five. It’s all I think about now, and has been for three days. I can’t do anything until it is finished — it’s got its hooks in me that bad.
So hang on. And go to the bathroom while you can.