I have recently sent off two pieces of writing; one is the manuscript of a short book and the other is an essay for a forthcoming Research Companion. As they go through the review process I find myself in the normal stage of not being able to look at them. Whenever I submit a text I feel simultaneously smarter than normal and much stupider. The feeling of smartness comes from the realisation that, against all odds, you have managed to make the seemingly incoherent into something coherent enough to share with another person. The feeling of stupidity comes from the crushing compromises you had to make to do this, from the frustration that the ideas which sparked off in the brain never quite made it into the final text in the way you’d imagined them. The dazzling connections no longer seem dazzling, the gasp of recognition has been lost in the drone of explanation.

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