tommy.jensen@sbs.su.se johan.sandstrom@ltu.se

The process of writing a paper…


We’re writing a paper on the Kiruna case. We’ve been going at it for quite some time and although we’re nudging it forward, we never seem to remember that each paper is a quagmire.

And, as soon as we’re writing, we don’t blog. Why? Because you wouldn’t be interested in the writing process perhaps. Or perhaps we don’t know how to write about our own writing process…

One try: we start with an original idea (from our point of view), carefully drafted, and planned out on a hand-sketched piece of paper. Then, off we go to writing! But then, always, a quagmire and a computer hard drive full of ‘previous versions’. It is as if nothing good could come out of a smooth and rational writing process, and that we never seem to learn and just surrender to this fact. Writing is art, writing is struggle, writing is never smooth, writing is pain and pleasure, and it always, always, always becomes something else!

We could probably apply the same conceptual and methodological ideas going in to the paper on the Kiruna case (inspired by some writings on Actor-Network Theory) on our own writing process. The paper, this singular paper, to paraphrase Annemarie Mol (2002), will be more than one but less than many, full of difference but in some way or another it hangs together.

Present state of the paper: version 27, and counting. We’ll be back.