Greetings, all. We’re heading into the final third of our twelve weeks of writing! This week the historical profession lost Edmund Morgan, author of comps list staples American Slavery, American Freedom and The Puritan Dilemma. Claire Potter and Jill Lepore, eminent public intellectuals in their own right, each elegized Morgan this week for the clarity and accessibility of his writing. That raises the question–for whom do you write? Your advisor? Your editor? The classic “educated but uninformed” reading public? Take some time this week to think about audience, and ways that you can make your writing more accessible to more people. And as always, tell us about your progress and your upcoming goals in the comments.
On a (perhaps) related note, Melanie texted me this passage from Joan Didion’s “Why I Write”:
The picture tells you how to arrange the words and the arrangement of the words tells you, or tells me, what’s going on in the picture. Nota bene.*
It tells you.
You don’t tell it.