There’s no such thing as a first draft
There have been a number of great posts recently at Object Oriented Philosophy about being a grad student and/or academic, and the writing process in particular; but this latest I find utterly incomprehensible:
I sat down, and simply wrote it straight through. 12 pages. How long did it take? Geez, maybe 2 hours, maybe 3 hours…. The point is…I paid no attention to style. That’s for later.
Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve read or heard advice like this, but I’ve never understood it. What does it mean to write without paying attention to style? What is writing without style? Isn’t writing the process of taking something that doesn’t quite exist, the content of ones thoughts, and making it exist by supplying it with a form? So to write without paying attention to style would be to not write at all.
Graham Harman’s written quite a bit about the importance of style, as a matter of essence rather than mere decoration; so it’s odd to see him suggesting the virtues (indeed, the possibility) of writing without attention to style. I wonder what he means by it.