The Writing Machine


By Colin Woodward

I thought I’d get a break after publishing my book.

Marching Masters came out in March, and since then, I’ve been something of a writing machine. The ink was hardly dry on my book when I got an email saying I needed to overhaul an article I had submitted four years ago for a collection of essays on slavery and historiography. The essay needed much reworking, which included plenty of new research and the revising of prose. I still don’t even know if it’ll be accepted. The final essay came in at 35 pages, with about 100 footnotes.

On top of that, I had already agreed to write two book reviews for the Arkansas Review, two entries for the Encyclopedia of Arkansas (on Buddy Jewel and Gene Williams, both of Dyess), an article on Johnny Cash and Cummins prison farm for the Pulaski County Historical Review, and an article on Cash and Winthrop Rockefeller for the Arkansas Times.

Thankfully, being a historian cuts down on the tendency toward writer’s block. And even though I don’t get paid much for writing, I love doing it.

Colin Woodward is a historian and archivist. He is the author of Marching Masters, Slavery, Race, and the Confederate Army during the Civil War (University of Virginia Press, 2014). He is writing a second book on Johnny Cash.

One thought on “The Writing Machine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s