… when you’re researching in media res, the new ideas or details or stories that you stumble across are much more useful to you, because you can immediately see the slots where they belong
— Steven Johnson medium.com/the-writers-room/281c7539ad92
Writer, Steven Johnson, pushing for getting started writing earlier than you might think. I recognise and encourage this approach to writing. It also supports the critical idea that understanding and ideas develop through the act of writing (as Johnson suggests by including the Doctorow quote).
Writing as a student or academic is about finding strategies to develop your own thinking in relation to what is already there in the world, and then communicating these in a form and manner that is appropriate to those ideas. Johnson’s point is that writing is — rather reflexively — actually one of those strategies.
The same could be said of the act of choreography. It is through practicing choreography that I become aware of — or sensitive to — the gaps of the material and ideas I am developing. Choreography, in this respect, is not an abstract activity. It is sustained activity that requires the same degree of rigour, patience and unswerving commitment1 as the act of writing.
Which is not to say it can’t happen very quickly.↩︎