Monday, September 20, 2010

Pat on the back

Look! right over there! on the right!-->

See that the writing progress meter has logged some more pages. Right now, I'm at 221 revised pages (although not all totally polished: I'm fudging the little clean-up things I have to do here and there).

I finished another chapter draft today. The last chapter was a delight to write: the argument was in my head, I wrote quickly and forcefully, and the ideas, while running against conventional wisdom, still add up.

This chapter, not so much. Twenty of its 42 pages were close-readings lifted from the dissertation, and in fact, they may be among the few pages that survive from the diss unscathed, for many of the other 50 pages of "drafted" material that I started with have actually been completely re-written. The problems were these:
  • These were close readings that didn't actually have a stand-alone argument that was separate from the previous chapter. They had a theme, a common thread, but no argument. They now have one, but not after fits and starts.
  • This would have to be the first piece of this writing push that has happened successfully while classes were in session.
So while my pace has slowed down from the summer a bit, it's still gone well. Because I work better with moderately large chunks of writing time, I've been going at about 5 pages a day, with really only one or two writing days a week. It's not ideal, but it's working. So while I'm not thrilled with the pace, I'm patting myself on the back that I have any pace at all.

The next chapter is not unlike the previous one, but the close readings in draft form are even more fragmentary, which means I'll be doing a lot of writing from the ground up. I need to give myself permission to let this chapter be a bit shorter than the others (I've estimated about 25 pages), so I can push through to the end of this draft.

I had initially aimed for the end of the summer, which I first interpreted as the beginning of the semester. That came and went, and now the end of the seasonal summer is nigh. I don't have a natural deadline for the remaining chapter and conclusion, but I'm now aiming for the end of October. Halloween and the twins' 7th birthday would go nicely with a completed book manuscript, don't you think? Keep your fingers crossed, 'cause the going gets tough here.

1 comment:

Dr. Koshary said...

I hereby offer an external pat on the back. I've been avoiding my sole article draft for weeks now and telling myself that I'm immersed in job applications (which I am) and too busy to think about the article right now (which I am not).

You're a braver one than I: I don't know that I'd ever have the guts to display my entire writing plan online.