In the current issue of Tin House, (Vol. 9, Number 2), Deborah Eisenberg talked about her writing process. She noted, "I always go to phony places. For a long time when I'm working on something I can't look at what my hand has produced the day or week or month before, because it's just hideously phony. You'd think that phoniness would be something that's achieved with work-- that the natural would precede the artificial-- but it's actually the opposite for most writers, I think. ... Unphoniness is what you achieve with work."
Which got me thinking: why, at first blush, is it the cliche, the easy image or description that comes to mind? Why aren't humans designed to see the authentic first? What difference would it make if we were made that way? (well, it would make revision superfluous, but other than that...) If we saw the truth of someone instantly? The truth of an idea? An object? Not years later, not in retrospect, but if we knew in the moment what the moment truly was. If it was joy, we'd know it. If it was happiness, we'd know. To recognize right away the thing that calls to be written about.
Causes Nina Schuyler Supports
National Resources Defense Council