This is precisely why I couldn’t finish Moby Dick. There’s a point early in the book (not sure if you’ve read it) where Melville starts talking about different whale species and their physical characteristics. But instead of weaving those details into the story in a more natural and organic way, he laid them out in textbook form. I felt like I was in a high school biology class, and I just couldn’t take it.

So yeah, I do think there is something very sanitary and off-putting about writing that’s just a little too organized. There are times when it’s necessary — when you’re writing an academic paper, for instance. Generally speaking, though, I find that if you invest too much energy and effort in tidiness and structure, it can make your work taste a little stale. As it is with so many other things in life, it’s all about finding the right balance, IMHO.

Outer space enthusiast. Japanese history junkie. I write about politics, culture, and mental illness. Disagreement is a precursor to progress.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store