Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Well, duh.

As I've been working on The Chapter That Would Not Die, and especially since I've been getting words down, I've been frustrated with how slowly it's been going, how clumsy my writing has been, and most especially, how I don't really know where I'm going. I've been expecting difficulties like this with chapter two (as-of-yet-unwritten), because I know that one is all brand-new ideas. But I was convinced that the current chapter, like two I've finished and two yet left to go, would go fairly smoothly, because it's essentially a revision -- albeit a deep one -- of things I had written in the dissertation.

Then, just this afternoon, it hit me: it's not.

That's right: after working for a couple of months on the reading for and drafting of this chapter, it only just now occurred to me that, while I've worked with most of the cases for the dissertation incarnation of this project, never once did I directly address the issues that are central to this chapter. In fact, I avoided said issues because, frankly, it's something that bores me to tears. I can't believe I just realized this. So of course it's slow and frustrating: it's new territory.

Does this mean that the remaining two "revision" chapters will go more smoothly? I hope so. After the last two frustrating weeks of writing, and contemplating the extreme suckitude of what I've got so far, I really, really hope so.


Anonymous said...

What's awful is that this is a *good* process, i.e., it means you are really taking an honest look at your manuscript and the problem that still remain in it from your differing perspective now. So the slow down is frustrating but actually positive. Hang in there.

squadratomagico said...

Sorry to hear you have to write about something that bores you to tears. If it must be done, then I suppose it's best that you realized the necessity. Good luck getting it over with!

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Thank you both. Yes, I know it's a good thing -- too bad it's so painful getting there. But the rather belated realization that I was, indeed, working on brand new stuff kind of took the pressure off a bit, and allowed me to stop beating up on myself quite so hard.

And actually, Sq.M., now that I'm getting into it, there are actually some interesting conclusions that I'm able to draw in this chapter. It's just not as immediately intriguing (to me) as what I'm used to working on. I think I'll become more interested in it as I start to make my own connections. That's always the way of things.