Sunday, June 1, 2014

It's official: I am writing a second book.

This announcement may come as a surprise: not that I'm writing a book -- I've had that "another damn book" tag over in my sidebar for a while, after all -- but that I'm only just now getting around to making it official. But I really consider today my kick-off, because today, I took the first real steps.

That may seem strange to say. I started collecting documents in 2010, after all.[1] And in the summer of that same year, I transcribed, oh, let's say a hundred or so folios and started grouping them into topics to explore, complete with freewriting and ruminations on things I needed to find out about. In the interim, I produced one very short article and a few conference presentations. I drew up lists and bibliographies. But in general, it's felt like I've hardly been working on it at all for years.

And then, just this April, I was (finally!) hit with the inspiration for how this thing should go together. I pulled together a draft proposal and presented to my editor, and received general enthusiasm and a couple of good suggestions. And last week, I organized all the files so I could figure out what I had and where it all was.

But today was different. Today I took the first steps in working on a piece of what will, gods willing, become the book that I now see in my head. It was a small step: I identified a small section that needed filling in, and took notes on a relevant book section, plus identified the other three books I needed to look at to finish what, in the end, will likely amount to no more than 300 words of the finished piece. Yet it's forward motion, with a purpose.

This is my Big Writing Summer. By the end of this summer, I hope to have a draft of a chapter and the rough outlines of a second one, along with an article that dovetails with Chapter Draft One and a well thought-out book proposal.

I have officially embarked on the road to the second book. Wish me luck.


[1] Jeez. Has it really been that long?!?

7 comments:

Belle said...

Massive amounts of good luck and the time you need to do this. And the energy!

Flavia said...

That's awesome! Good luck.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Fantastic! Good luck!

I worry that I will never be able to write a successful scholarly book because it always takes me writing an entire draft of a thing before I know what I'm doing. Then, I have to rewrite most of it. So in order to propose something to a publisher, I feel like I'd have to have a full draft written and be in the rewriting process before I can even send a proposal out. My dissertation went the same way. I rewrote the whole thing in just a couple of months after struggling with everything for years. I guess if I already know this about myself maybe I'll just have to follow that process if I ever want my book idea to come to fruition. It just feels like a lot of work to do without the support of a publisher.

Notorious Ph.D. said...

thanks, everyone!

Fie, that's *exactly* how it works (or at least, that's how it worked with my first book). But do you know what helps? WRITING THE PROPOSAL. Seriously: write a draft book proposal. Write a grant proposal. Forcing yourself to clarify your ideas and their significance in a way that others can understand them will do wonders for helping YOU figure out what you want to say.

Comradde PhysioProffe said...

Have fun!

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Thanks for the tip, Notorious. I am a little gun shy, but whenever I start to feel that way, I usually just say, "Oh hell, just do it. The worst that could happen is you get rejected. Whatever." So maybe I'll just go ahead. Scholarly confidence has never been my strong suit, but I have plenty of "why not just do it?" in me to combat that lack of confidence.

metheist said...

I am so excited to hear about your new project. I started following you when I was writing my dissertation. I am looking forward to many new posts!!