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Archive for the ‘Blah blah blah writing blah blah’ Category

I haven’t had much of anything to say to anybody lately – blog-wise or otherwise – because my summer has been The Summer of Writing.  Oh, sure, there has been some great hanging out with friends, VERY limited dating (for I have no energy to correspond with new potential suitors what with all of the legitimate writing I’m doing), some workplace shenanigans (though also very limited because IT IS SUMMER AND I AM WRITING GODDAMMIT AND STOP BOTHERING ME), and some drama with Mr. Stripey (URINARY TRACT DISEASE 😦 But I caught it early, it seems, and he should be just fine now that he is eating $5,000,000 cat food, which of course the Man-Kitty is eating, too, because there is no way to easily separate them, and it’s not like the fancy food will hurt the Man-Kitty).

But anyway, writing.  What am I writing?

1. Motherfucking narratives for promotion.  Which let’s note, are NOT AT ALL PLEASANT TO WRITE.  I mean, sure, I am just writing about how awesome I am, but the whole genre of “really sell yourself because you need to convince people except don’t be a braggart!” is not an easy genre.

2. My book manuscript, which is coming along slowly but surely, though I wish that I had more time.  I am at that point where I see the whole thing in my head and it’s just a matter of getting it down and giving myself time to refine it.  I am fairly confident that I can have the book proposal with two totally polished chapters sent out no later than July 15.  I’d be able to have at least that part of it done sooner than that, but….

3. I have had to interrupt work on the book for a conference paper I am giving about a work by a Notoriously Misogynistic Author (whom I love, even though it’s wrong to love dead people who hate you because you have lady-parts).  I am very excited about this conference paper, which also connects to the MLA paper that I will give in January.  And which I think will probably be my next book project if I can ever get the current one motherfucking finished.

4. And then I had to do some revisions on an article for a collection that finally is under contract and that will appear in 2015.

So I have been super stressed out, actually, in spite of the fact that it’s summertime and the livin’s easy.  More stressed out than I have been during the summer since before tenure for sure. And so, like, my mom or friends from afar will call, and they want to “catch up” and I’m all, “I’m just writing” because I really have nothing else to report, and then, because they think it’s the right thing to do, they are like, “so how is it going?” and then I get all, “FUCK YOU AND HOW DARE YOU ASK ME THAT AND DO YOU WANT ME NEVER TO WRITE ANYTHING AGAIN?!?!  DON’T YOU KNOW YOU CAN’T ASK ME THAT?!?!” and then they are all, “you shouldn’t be so stressed out, it’s not good for you,” and I’m like, “OH REALLY?!?!?! HOW EXACTLY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE MOTIVATE THEMSELVES TO DO WORK THAT NOBODY CARES ABOUT?  THAT DOESN’T HAVE ACTUAL DEADLINES AND THAT MATTERS TO ABSOLUTELY NOBODY?!?! DO YOU THINK I AM WHERE I AM BECAUSE I JUST RELAXED AND TOOK IT EASY?!?! DO YOU THINK THAT IS HOW PEOPLE GET BOOKS WRITTEN AND BECOME FULL PROFESSORS AND PRESENT AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES?!?!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!”

Sorry for all the shouty capital letters.  I never have actually said all of those things in so many words or in shouty capital letters – or, well, maybe to my mom – but those are all the things I feel when I respond, “Oh, writing is slow but it’s fine, and I’m just a little stressed out,” or, “Yeah, I know I need to take some time for myself and make sure I relax,” or “Sure, I know I can really get everything done.”

The fact of the matter is, while I intellectually believe that I can do all of the things, that doesn’t make the process feel any less fraught.  I just feel pulled in a lot of different directions.  And no, I can’t just shut all humans out of my life (as my mom suggested might help, and for which suggestion I yelled at her) for the summer because I actually get more nuts if I don’t regularly engage with humans, and getting more nuts stops me from producing anything (as I learned when I tried that approach during the initial phase of my dissertation writing).  So, I’m just trying very hard to keep everything in some sort of happy equilibrium, and I’m for the most part succeeding.

One thing that has helped is I’m regularly going to my local (non-$bucks) coffee shop to do writing stuff.  Now, this is a VERY yuppified coffee shop, and since I go in the morning, what I typically encounter there are very slim, very tan housewives who do fitness walking together every day and then stop by for coffee and then talk about dieting.  Given my research, it’s PROFOUNDLY WEIRD. Oh, and men who are clearly on their way to a business meeting rush in and get coffee, too.  But a coffee shop is a coffee shop, and the music is very Tracy Chapman meets Bon Iver meets the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack, so it’s all very soothing.  And the space is very light and bright, and I always get to work at a big table, and because of the acoustics of the place it is both noisy AND not distracting.  (I know not everybody could work under those conditions, but I am a person who has more trouble in silence and who also has trouble writing in my own home unless I start the writing elsewhere, so this is perfect for me.)

So anyway, that’s the dealio.  You will next hear from me after June 30.  I hope you all are having less stressful summers than mine!  Tell me what you’re doing!

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I’m sure lots of you, if not all of you, have seen this take-down of Slavoj Zizek for being a Giant Jerk Who Says Rude/Insensitive/Terrible Things About and To Students.  I’m not going to write a big, long post about this, but I just want to put it out there that I find Zizek a delight.  I thoroughly enjoy reading his stuff, I enjoy teaching his stuff in my critical theory course and find it incredibly useful to teach him, and I have seen him speak and it was probably the most memorable, educational, and enjoyable academic talk I’ve ever attended.

I certainly don’t think the Crisis in the Humanities is the fault of Slavoj Zizek, a dude that most people castigating him don’t seem to know much about. They don’t seem to have a familiarity with his work or to have even known existed before this brouhaha (check out the comment thread of the piece to which I linked).

I find Zizek useful for my scholarship, in spite of his flaws.  Kind of like how I love D.H. Lawrence’s novels in spite of the fact that he has some peculiar ideas (to say the least) about sex and women, or how I appreciate Ezra Pound’s poetry even though he was a fascist.  Does the fact that I can find value in the work of these yahoos provide an excuse for the horrible things they have thought or said?  Nope, not at all.  But I am comfortable with being critical of the person while at the same time acknowledging the value of their intellectual and/or artistic contribution to culture.  I don’t look to theorists or authors or celebrities or artists or whatever to be “good role models.”  I mean, seriously.  That’s awfully reductive, no?  Anti-intellectual, even?  This reminds me of a colleague of mine who said T.S. Eliot should not be taught in any college classroom because he objects to Eliot’s politics.  I feel like those sorts of assertions have more to do with the Crisis in the Humanities than any blustery bullshit that Zizek spouts.

In other news, I am back to my book project with a vengeance and it turns out that writing comes easily when you buckle down to actually do some writing.  I should have two chapters revised and my book proposal done before I go to Italy, and I should be able to get the whole manuscript ready (should somebody want to see the whole thing) by September 1.  Yes, this is ambitious, but I need to be fucking done with this idea.

Now time to clean up around the house and get ready for Talking about Ideas and Drinking Wine with CC later.

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I have returned from my conference, which was wonderful and enriching and inspiring and so productive. I have found the introduction to my book, as well as the path forward to completing a draft of the manuscript, I have been inspired by the work that my colleagues around the world are doing, and I am fuzzily contemplating a next book after this one is all done.  All in all, I really, really needed what this last long weekend gave me.  But it was also a weird weekend in many, many ways.

Why weird?  Well, for the first time it was clear to me that I am officially well beyond “junior.”  And that was a really bizarre feeling, but I realize that probably I have been that for a while, and yet I hadn’t realized it.  My saying this might seem disingenuous, but I promise, I’m not being falsely modest here.  Yes, I know that I’ve been an officer and president of an allied organization of the MLA, but I was pretty crappy at that, and it was a small organization.  And yes, I published a book, but it was not with a fancy press at all.  And yes, I have a good few essays published, but they are, for the most part, in non-fancy venues.  I teach a 4-4 load, and my record reflects that. Seriously: I’m nobody special.  I’m just a person who says yes to things and who tries, in what limited way she can, to contribute.

But anyway, this feeling that I’m this non-entity, this babe in the woods, stretches back a long ways. See, my whole life, I have always been on the “young” end of things.  I started kindergarten as one of the youngest kids in my class (August birthday right before the kindergarten cut-off), and progressed in P-12 accordingly, as one of the youngest ones. That meant getting a job later and driving later than other people.  And then I finished college in just 4 years, so the gap widened… by the time I graduated from college at my regional state university, I was running with a cohort that was 2-3 years older than I was (if not more – given the non-traditional student-friends I’d made).  I didn’t take any time off between undergrad and grad school, and I went straight through to the PhD, so at that point the gap widened again, and my “peers” were typically 5-8 years older than I was, if not older, and I also went to my first conference when i was just 21 years old, and I was a TOTAL baby in that context, both to the advanced graddies there and to the proffie people whom I met.  And then the gap became a giant chasm when I got my tenure-track job ABD, making the vast majority of my colleagues and people with whom I socialize a good 10 years older than I was at minimum.  (Seriously: some of my colleagues, including the person who was my official pre-tenure “mentor,” have been at my institution longer than I’ve been alive.)  In spite of the fact that we’ve done a lot of hiring in the past decade (for, in truth, I started this job a full decade ago this fall), I have just one colleague – who was only hired three years ago – who is younger than I am, and only by months.  My point here is that I basically view myself as a little sister who is doing marginally important things, if they are important at all.

Combine with this the fact that I typically see myself as sort of an invisible scholarly entity, partly by virtue of the institution at which I work (which is fine, but it certainly is a Very Directional State type place that doesn’t have much, if any, of a reputation for scholarship, and which does virtually nothing to support scholarship in the humanities) and partly because I just don’t typically think much about myself as being super important in terms of the scholarly conversation in my discipline.  Yes, I do scholarship, and I care a lot about it for my own reasons, but really, who else does?

It turns out, a fair few people care about it.  And so that was my first weird thing of this conference. I would introduce myself to a new person, and that person would be like, “Oh, you’re DR. CRAZY.”  And then they would either pause in awe (in a way that I vividly remember doing when I would meet people whom I’d cited in my own work as a graduate student – in a way that I still do when I meet people whose work is especially fancy in my brain) or, if they were less star-struck, they would start talking to me about one or the other of my publications, or, if they were VERY FANCY, they would just say they couldn’t believe they hadn’t met me yet, as they know my name, blah blah blah.

Now, I’m still pretty sure that some of this – especially the “I know your name” stuff – was politeness.  But to be fair, there was no reason why anybody needed to pretend they knew my name if they didn’t, so maybe I should be a little more impressed by that? I don’t know.  The point is, for the first time in my career, I’m apparently a Person of Note, which is super freaking weird.  The most dramatic of these moments was at the conference’s opening reception, when I was chatting with a friend who, in the context of this conference, is infinitely more important than I am.  A woman came up to us, and I didn’t know the woman.  I just assumed she was coming to talk to Important Friend (as I suppose she shall now be named).  But no!  The woman interrupted to introduce herself to me!  And she wanted to tell me that she thought that what I wrote in my book about Infamously Sexy Author (ISA) was the best thing she’d read about him, and she wanted to tell me that I must come to ITALY next summer to participate in a symposium about ISA!  And then when I figured out who this stranger was, I realized she was a person whose work I admire greatly!  And then later that night, while still hanging with IF, another person was all, “Oh, you are you!  I am so glad to meet you! I am from Italy and I have cited you!”  (Obviously I’m paraphrasing).  The point is, apparently, I am a PERSON.  What. The. Fuck.

And so this leads to the second weird thing.  I have officially reached the point where I am “old” and “mid-career” to graduate students.  This is profoundly weird to me, as I don’t think I’m far enough along to be that, though apparently I am.  Now, part of my confusion about my status has to do with the way that I interact with my own students and former students.  Yes, I kick my students’ asses, but I never see myself as very different from them, particularly once they have graduated.  And I’ve befriended a fair few of my former students, so I don’t feel too far removed from them.  But I am now officially the person at a conference who “gives advice” to the graddies, as opposed to socializing without hierarchy with them.  WHAT?

You know what’s strange? The fact that other people think I’m important when I so decidedly don’t think that I am.  What’s also weird is that I don’t see myself as an authority when the little graddies surely do.  I think that this is what it means to age in this profession, especially when you’re not some Fancy Person at some Fancy Institution.

I have a lot to say, actually, about the aging of the profession and the casualization of academic labor, and the impact of that on scholarship, particularly feminist scholarship, things I’ve thought about because of my experiences this weekend.  But now is not the time for that as I’m jet-lagged and I don’t have the energy for a big treatise on anything that isn’t totally self-absorbed.  But seriously: can I finagle Italy next summer?  Preceded (ideally) by The Netherlands, and preceded by that by Chicago?  Indeed, that’s my goal.  Even though all of that plus MLA (I was accepted for a special session), which is super expensive?  Even though I’m at a regional institution that doesn’t support research even as it expects it?  The good news is that I am done with my car payment next month, so I can save that money, but dude – who does three conferences in a month?  (I really, really want to.)

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Today was a very productive “writing” day, although no formal “writing” happened.  I realized that in order to go forward with the chapter that I’m working on I needed to go backward and think about and face the book-as-a-whole.  I’ve been avoiding facing “the book-as-a-whole.”

My first book, which emerged out of my dissertation, was a much “tighter” project, even though the shape of it in some ways looks similar to the shape of this one.  Ultimately, I had a very narrow scope for what I was trying to achieve, and so I knew where I was going pretty much from the very beginning.  Yes, there were “discoveries” throughout the process – threads that I pulled together – but ultimately, in composing each chapter, I was mapping a particular theory onto a particular literary text in order to arrive at an interpretation of what was, really, a very limited thing.  And so it wasn’t, actually, scary to look at the project as One Big Thing.  I knew what I would find when I did that.

With this book project, my process has been less deliberate and a hell of a lot messier.  Now, part of this has to do with the fact that I now understand, in a way that I did not in writing my dissertation/book what a “book” really is.  I’ve read a lot more critical books from beginning to end, for one thing, and I also have been through the process of bringing my own book to publication.  Another part of why this process has been different is because other than when I first began, during my sabbatical, I’ve had to squeeze the book into my other professional obligations piecemeal: I haven’t had the luxury of time that I had during graduate school, and I haven’t had the luxury of the kind of single-minded focus that one has during one’s graduate training.  Let me note, I’m not at all complaining about this: I think it makes my ideas richer, in some ways, that I’m not so imbedded in my original field of specialization, and I think that working in this way is actually allowing me to do more interesting work (at least I have hope that this is the case) than I did in my dissertation/book.

But because I’m trying to work on the “first” chapter, I sort of need to know where I’m going to end up in the “last” chapter, if I’m writing the book I want to write, which I don’t want merely to be a a loose collection of disparate chapters around a general idea, but really a work of theoretically oriented criticism that hangs together as a cohesive and coherent whole.

And because the project has been evolving since I first pitched the topic (having done no work on the topic prior to said pitching) in my application for sabbatical in 2009, I needed to reckon with the fact that what I’ve been writing, and the ideas that I’m most interested in throughout what I’ve been writing, don’t really match what I initially had set out to do.  I mean, there is a relationship – this isn’t a completely different book – but it’s not the book I’d initially thought I would write, and probably nobody but me could see clearly how the book I’m apparently writing has emerged from the idea that I originally had.

But so anyway, I faced that particular scary task, and I was able to a) write a paragraph in which I was able to articulate the three linked objectives of the book-as-a-whole, b) articulate – again in writing – the major theoretical apparatuses that I’m engaging in order to flesh out those objectives (and this was tricky as the theories I’m engaging wouldn’t necessarily seem like obvious choices to bring together), c) discover that I’m going to jettison one particular set of ideas, which are super-interesting to somebody, but which don’t actually fit with the objectives that I outlined that I am trying to accomplish, d) finally confront the thing that I’ve known for about two years and have been willfully ignoring: I can’t do what I’m trying to do without Motherfucking Heidegger.

And then I spent about 5 hours reading Heidegger.  Which is why I need to shut off my brain.  (Confession: I actually really dig Martin.  But it is totally possible to dig a Theory/Philosophy Boyfriend and to be afraid of him at the same time, and also to find him overwhelming once you decide you’re going to date him.  See my past relationships with Immanuel, Michel, Judith….  Oh god, and SLAVOJ!  I mean, seriously.)

But so anyway, I need to stop reading and I need to stop thinking.  And yes, I even need not to write anything else down, because frankly, I need to get another 5 or so hours in tomorrow and the next day and every weekday possible from now until the end of summer, and I can’t afford to burn myself out because I can’t shut off my brain and then lose two weeks to those shenanigans.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

In other, somewhat related news: the first chapter focuses primarily on a text on which I wrote my first ever published article.  It seems that, 1) this first chapter is about the exact same topic as that first ever published article, and 2) I now violently disagree with the general premise and interpretation that guide my first ever published article.  Awkward.

Also: am I only ever going to be interested in like the same three things, in general?  I mean, the literary texts change, the theories change, but at the end of the day, it seems that I keep coming back to the exact same questions, with only minor variations.

Finally: it might be another year before I’m ready to actually send this book manuscript out for review.  I think admitting that is important to the process, sort of like it was important to my dissertation process to have my adviser tell me off when I wanted to jump the gun and defend 9 months before I was actually ready to do so.  At least now I can tell myself off?  But man, it sucks not to be as close to done as I want to be.

Whew!  Ok, I feel better now.  I’m going to go have a glass (or three) of wine.

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So the semester is done, I am back to my Happy Place of Summertime Happiness, and all is well.  Of course, this also means that I am committed to getting back to the Writing Place of Summertime Writing, which is, in a word, exhausting.  And scary.  And maybe not quite so simple as “oh, I’ve got all this time!  Of course I shall meet my goals!”

But so I had an epiphany in the shower today.  (See title of post.)  There are many things about myself as a writer, and as a person who is able to motivate herself to write, that are great.  I am content to draft and to revise.  I outline.  I am good about editing to others’ specifications in order to get a piece out for publication.  In other words, I’m not especially a perfectionist, and I’m pretty content to put the “good” (or “good enough”) before the “perfect” (as if such a thing exists!).  I don’t labor over sentences, nor do I hold tight to sentences, or paragraphs, or even whole pieces of writing, as if they are brilliant jewels to be honored and cherished.

But what I discovered this morning, mid-shampoo, was that in spite of all of these admirable writer-qualities, I do have a problem, and it’s a problem that’s really reared its ugly head since the advent of The Dude.  The problem is that while I’m very good at all of the above, I’m not very good at keeping going even in the midst of… complications.

Here is what I do.  I come up with a plan for writing, a schedule for accomplishing things.  (This is good.)  I make deadlines for myself, and then I make a set of “real” deadlines as a back-up.  (This is also good.)  But what I also do is I try to hold myself to working from beginning to end – ish.  It’s not that I always work in a totally linear way, I don’t, but whatever the “big chunk” is – a conference paper, a chapter, an article – well, I can’t really move on from it to another piece, or into revision of it, unless I feel like it has a beginning, middle, and an end.  Or I don’t.  So the result is this, it seems: I am that person who is constantly revising her schedule when shit doesn’t get done.  And then I feel overwhelmed by the revised schedule and then I don’t write at all.  And then I have to revise the schedule again.  This hasn’t happened to me for some time, but it is the writer that I am.

Long story short: I had a schedule for getting a chapter of the book done by April (this was a third or fourth round revised schedule, let’s note).  That didn’t happen.  So rather than move on to the next thing on the “Master Schedule,” I was all, “well, I can’t do anything until I get that done!  I’ll just make an even stricter schedule for myself in order to do things in a linear-ish way!”  Needless to say, I just didn’t make any progress for the past couple of months.  (And then, as I confessed to you all, I directly blamed this on The Dude, though that wasn’t fair.)

If we put this in Freshmen Comp terms, I am the student who can’t write the paper because she didn’t already write the introduction.  And it’s worth noting, I was that Freshmen Comp student, so I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m in this predicament right now.

Except I am surprised.  Because historically, when I’ve run into this problem since those long ago days of Freshmen Comp, I’ve assumed the problem wasn’t “me” but rather that it was whatever the complication was.

So, for example, once upon a time, during the one time in my life when I have described myself as having writer’s block, while I was writing my dissertation, I really thought it was “writer’s block” – that I was “blocked” by some mystical force, and that suddenly the “block” lifted by an equally mystical force.  Except that wasn’t really what happened.

What really was going on (as my epiphany revealed) was that I was preoccupied with my personal life (not in the way I am now, which is happily, but still, preoccupied, if unhappily).  And how I got out of that was by moving 600 miles away from my preoccupation, and then, voila!  I could write!  I never changed my writing process: I just changed my circumstances.  And that is what I’ve always done since, when I felt like I wasn’t writing: changed my circumstances.  Which works great if you want to be alone, if that’s what you prefer.  But it seems those things aren’t what I want, what I prefer.  But I need to find a way to write in spite of those personal desires, if I’m going to be a full and whole and happy person.  So.

What I realized today was I needed to try to do this a new way.  I can’t just shut down my personal life when my writing life isn’t going according to plan, even though, frankly, doing that is easier.  And I can’t just shut down writing when I’ve got a personal life, because NO.  (I know, you all think I’m an idiot, because, WOW, isn’t this so obvious?)

So my experiment for the summer is this: I’m going to do as much work as I can according to my pre-ordained summer schedule, but I will not revise the schedule.  So, for example, let’s say that I don’t get as far as I wanted on the chapter on which I’d wanted to have a complete draft done by Saturday (SATURDAY!  Of Memorial Day Weekend when I’ve got a boyfriend who works a regular job and for whom this is a three-day weekend! A fact you’d think I would have considered when I made this schedule, but no, I only consider my own weirdo schedule in which long weekends don’t matter!).  I move on regardless of how far I’ve gotten.  I move on to the next item on the agenda, even if I didn’t complete the earlier agenda item.

Will this work?  Who knows.  But the theory is that more will get done this way than by me constantly revising the schedule.  And at the very least I’ll have more complete bits and pieces on the book than I’ve got now, at summer’s beginning, even if none of them are actually complete.

The thing is, I can’t just keep waiting for perfect conditions for scholarship.  Particularly when those perfect conditions depend on being without a personal life.  Maybe it’s not about fitting a personal life in so much as adapting to a personal life, if that makes sense.  No, this might not work.  But what I’ve been doing?  Totally not working either.

Also, I really need to accomplish things because what with my non-academic Dude, I feel incredibly guilty about the freedom that I have during the Happy Place of Summertime Happiness.  I need to use that freedom to do awesome things, and not just to be an asshole academic who relaxes, ya know?  (Even if I do still intend to do my reading at the pool.)

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So, a couple of years ago, I published an article on [a tv show that you all probably are watching right now because it is “appointment television,” or because the actor who plays the lead character has a giant schlong, if tabloid photos and stories are in any way true].  This article evolved out of a conference paper that I wrote, admittedly, because it meant that I could go to a conference in [Awesome City] to present on a panel with BFF and FBA with some funding, if I wrote that paper.  This conference occurred just about this weekend 4 years ago, only a few weeks after my dad had died.  Needless to say, what with the whole dad-death and the grieving, I threw that conference paper together.  But then I got an email requesting the article-length version of the paper for an edited collection, and of course I said yes, and so then I wrote the article in the following couple of months (still reeling from the dad-death, so who knows how I even accomplished that).

But so now I feel obligated to watch this television show, even though I don’t really want to, as, frankly, I don’t think that it’s been as good since the first couple of seasons.  But here I am, a person who ended up writing an article about a thing when she was all grief-stricken and shit, mainly because she just really wanted to see her friends in an awesome city, and now I am forced to see that thing through to the bitter end, as I am a person who had Theoretical Things to Say about that thing, even though I care about it not at all any more, and even though those initial things I had to say were totally automatic pilot sorts of things because I was a mess when I thought them.

Oh, fuck it.  We all should just go Mad Men Ourselves and be done with it 🙂

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So today I confronted the bits and pieces that are my book manuscript.  A conference paper here, an invited talk there, an actual drafted chapter elsewhere, bits and bobs of notes and quotes and ideas… When I work on a big project like this, I don’t do it in a linear way.  Or, rather, I work on tiny portions in a linear way, but the while the parts are linear, the whole is not. Until it has to be.  And, really, the whole has to become linear now.

My original goal, in December of last year when I quietly circulated (the first version of) my book proposal, was that the manuscript would be ready by the end of January 2013.  Clearly, I did not meet that internal deadline.  However, I forced myself to confront the amorphous manuscript today, which I’ve been avoiding, and July 2013 is entirely reasonable – indeed, it gives me a full month of wiggle-room, in which to do what I need to do.  I am currently at around 55K words, but the project is fully formed in my head, the research is done, and the theory is grappled with.  I’d say I’m about 75% of the way there (even though the word count doesn’t really reflect that).  If I had two solid months with no teaching or professional responsibilities to write, I could be done.  But I have two solid months of a 4/4 load, so reasonably, I need to give myself through the end of July.  But: there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and, also, the good thing about tenure is that you can give yourself that extra 6 months on a project.  This isn’t life or death (career-wise) for me.  And that is awesome.

In other news, I am supremely irritated by my colleague (who is also my friend) to whom I am a mentor who a) takes none of my advice and b) is “distracted” – waah! and c) doesn’t seem to realize that if she doesn’t do what I tell hir to do that she is going to get denied tenure and be motherfucking unemployed.  Oh, I am “different” and have so much fucking “energy.”  You know what?  My job isn’t on the line!  Zie’s job is! But apparently I’m just fucking exceptional, and so when I tell zie that zie needs to get hir shit together, I’m being an asshole who doesn’t know what she’s talking about.  Except what zie doesn’t realize is that I’m not advising her based on my productivity at all: if I were, then I would expect zie to have a book plus a handful of articles, plus about 10 courses, plus a variety of service things, at tenure.  No: I am coaching zie to the baseline, and not at all to the fucked up shit that I did.  But DUDE, if you don’t meet the baseline, you won’t get tenure!  And you’ll get fired!

The Dude, who is amazing and great and in line with me on all things, says I need to drop the colleague, because you can’t help people who don’t want to be helped.  And I actually totally agree with him and think he’s super smart.  But where he’s not like me is that I feel upset and sad about dropping people.  Even if I know it’s totally the right thing to do.

I really love The Dude, though.  He is SUPER awesome.  It’s too bad that most people aren’t as awesome as he is 🙂

 

P.S.  I don’t have the energy for this right now, but I’m gonna do a post soon about my “energy” in the job, and about how I approach the things.  But, man, I’m tired.  I can’t.

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