Some wonderfully wise words from Eric Hayot’s The Elements of Academic Style

I have been reading Eric Hayot’s wonderful book The Elements of Academic Style:

Let’s start with fear. I am terrified–seriously terrified–of academic writing. Nothing that I do confronts me as strongly with a fear of total, consuming incompetence and inadequacy. The problem is that I am trying to be great, and I am (quite reasonably, unfortunately) afraid that I am not great.


Of course you should be afraid, aiming higher, going farther. If you weren’t afraid, you’d be complacent, and it wouldn’t be research.