Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Research Notes from the Voices in My Head

You know those little notes we write to ourselves as we frantically scribble the drafts? Those little square-bracketed comments and reminders? Usually, they are something along the lines of:
  • "Didn't I read something about this a couple months ago? Check notes."
  • "Learn more about banking system to write 1 para."
Just things that you need to remind yourself of. Well lately, one of the voices in my head -- the one that is dubious every time my reach starts exceeding my scholarly grasp -- has been taking over and writing notes. It's sort of like Stephen Colbert's old "The Word" segment, where the talking points on the screen lobbed sarcastic commentary at him.  Here is yesterday's, as I typed it:
  • “Neither revolt’s perpetrator was  kind enough to leave behind a manifesto telling later historians what their riot was all about. [Inconsiderate bastards].” 
This was today's:
  • "A great deal has been written about riots without realizing that not all riots are the same, nor even remembered the same: the meaning of a riot changes. [Yeah, go ahead: pretend you’re a cultural historian. That’ll be fun.]"
Maybe I should just let that voice write my whole book. [You should: People might actually buy a copy if you did.]


Krista Heiser said...

I think I'd find that a very entertaining book to read. LOL

Contingent Cassandra said...

Probably true (that such a book would sell). At the very least, you'd entertain a few bored and exhausted fellow-scholars by leaving a few of the asides, revised out of their brackets, in.

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Maybe I'll let the voices write my footnotes.

undine said...

I'd read it! If you put this in your footnotes, that would reward the footnote-followers, like an Easter egg in games.

This is happening to me, too (the "alternavoice" post of a couple years back). I'm worried that if I write them down, I'll forget to take them out.