Friday, October 22, 2010

What I did last summer

I had hoped to write a post like this about 2 months ago, and I'm even jumping the gun a little in writing it now. But what I did last summer was...

Write a book.

I've been incommunicado these last few weeks because I was knee deep in midterms, service obligations and other teaching stuff. I was totally blocked on the last chapter, which had a bunch of messy notes and drafted conference papers, but not much of a central argument, let alone one that connected to the previous chapter, let alone the whole book.

But during a workshop of a previous chapter on Wednesday, something clicked. I worked all Wednesday evening on those revisions, and then jumped in yesterday morning--before class, between classes, after class, on the last chapter. Today at about 12:30, I saved a complete draft of the last chapter.

Now of course Willow will help with some edits and surface revisions. And the notes still need cleaning up, along with a complete works cited page. But this is stuff that requires little anxiety from me, and can be done in shorter sessions at the writing desk.

As of now, though, the final tally: I have a 268 page manuscript, exclusive of notes, which in the end, will probably add up to about 30 pages, depending on fonts and spacing. To put it another way, the body of the ms. is about 85k words, with another 10k for notes etc.

I'll be polishing up those pages to a shiny sheen over the next several days, but for now, a big sigh of relief, and after the children go to be tonight, maybe a big glass of wine.

8 comments:

Earnest English said...

Totally awesome! Congratulations!!!!!!!!

reassignedtime said...

Oh happy day! You must celebrate!

Jenny said...

Congrats! Congrats! Congrats!!

P said...

You must do the happy monkey dance now.

Did you start the summer with 0 pages? I seem to remember you talking about how much you had to write.

This post makes me feel like parenthood and academia aren't necessarily incompatible.

Happy for you!

P said...

PS: I'm formally known as Pocha.

Horace said...

I'm not doing my happy dance or uncorking the aging bottle of Caymus cabernet just yet. That'll come when the thing goes out in the mail.

@Pocha: Despite what the progress log to the right shows, I started with about 75 pages that I didn't touch, about 100 that I revised significantly (sometimes to the point of rewriting completely) and another 90-some that was written from the ground up. I don't think I could do 270 new pages in that time even if I wasn't teaching, although I'm going to try to get close when I go on sabbatical in (I hope) 2012. I'll cross that bridge when I get there, though.

Aptly, though, my CAPCHA is "wines"!!!

Sisyphus said...

Hooray hooray!

I still think you should have that lovely glass of wine. Then have more when the manuscript is sent out!

PS go give me coat advice as part of your taking a relaxing break...

jo(e) said...

Congrats! That's an accomplishment!