My goal for June 1, which would be today, was to finish revising the article-length version of what will be the third body chapter of my book and to get it submitted.
The initial transformation of what I had into a reasonable draft of something that could be submitted was fairly painless. What I didn’t count on, because I like to repress this part of my writing process, was that even though the initial push was pretty easy, I had a lot longer to go from that first reasonable draft if I wanted to make the thing something that I would regard as being of “publishable” quality. I ignored the pesky realities of how long sentence-level revision takes, how difficult it is to achieve elegant transitions within a piece of writing that is 25-ish pages long, and the necessity for me to look very carefully at word choice, since I do tend to get stuck on some “favorite” words and phrases (which sadly often come from television that I’m watching, which explains why I had so many uses of the word “alibi” in my dissertation, which I composed while watching a lot of Law and Order).
Then I was side-tracked by having to do some last-minute revisions for another article that has been accepted for a hundred years but that is just going to be published now, which forced me to switch my focus on my actual writing goals for May. But, hey, the course of true writing never did run smooth.
But so anyway, the long and the short of it is that while I’m notquite ready to submit the article, I am very, very close to being to that point. Basically, I need to figure out two to four concluding paragraphs (though I do feel like I know basically what needs to go into the conclusion now that I’ve done all of the tough revision work of everything before the conclusion), let the thing sit for at least 24 hours, do final read-through and revision, and clean up the bibliography and notes. In other words, I declare that come hell or high water I will submit this essay no later than Monday.
Looking ahead to next week, I am going to embark on composing the first chapter of the book, for which I have some draft material and a boatload of notes, but nowhere near a “chapter” as of yet. My decision to do this, rather than to continue to work on the chapter from which the article emerges, is that I feel like I need a bit of a change of topic (1) and also that I think it will benefit the manuscript as a whole if I hammer out the first chapter, spend a couple of days on the second chapter (which is mostly done) so I can make sure there is a clear arc to the argument of the book, and only then move to the third chapter in the book (2). I think it will be possible to accomplish those goals by the end of June.
For now, however, I need a break, since I’ve been working solidly for the past five or so hours. I do believe that I need to take myself to the movies.