Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Projects, and the Progress

This summer, I have three projects that seem doable:
  1. Finish an article MS and get it sent off;
  2. Use the article MS to draft a book chapter on the same topic;
  3. Write a book proposal that I could also use to apply for grants this fall.
(It helps that #1 & 2 are about pirates.)

How's it been going? Well, I've been working on #1 since June 1, and here's the deal: When I got into the old article file... which I hadn't opened for two years (minus two months), I was delighted to find that I already had over 6,000 words, and many of them were pretty well researched! Also, my "get up and write before breakfast" thing works pretty well, still. I'm closing in on having the thing finished. And -- brace yourself -- I have too many words. This means I actually get to cut some things without starting to get anxieties about dropping below what an editor might consider article length. Plus, the extended length means that I have more to go into the chapter, which will need to be about twice the length of the article.

The current frustration is a minor one: I've reached the point where I need to write a paragraph here, strengthen my support for an argument there, and the like. Which means that I'm reading a lot and writing very little. Today I skimmed 5 of 8 books that I'll need to write approximately 400 words.

Tomorrow morning I sit down and skim yet another book so I can correct a patently stupid assertion I made in a conference paper that nobody called me on.

Stuff like that.

Still, I'm pleased to be back at work on the thing. And I promise to write something more entertaining soon.


Susan said...

That's always the hardest kind of thing to do, and you can't get the same satisfaction of saying, "I wrote X words", because a text of 8125 words is now say, 8153 words, but 200 of those words work much better. You know it matters, but it still feels kind of invisible,

droyles said...

I've been in the same boat lately, filling in a dissertation chapter as I turn it into an article. All of the holes I had to be content with before now need filling, even as I work out kinks in the argument and structure. All of that has made for very slow going.