Monday, October 30, 2006

Now Energized (although it's not the time for such things)

Ok, so since last I wrote, I did the following:

1) Ate dinner.
2) Took an hour-and-a-half long nap
3) Talked to A., a very good friend whom I've known for like... 12 years? Longer than that actually, but we became good friends like 12 years ago.
4) Talked to Friend in Crisis. (Friend is ok, but a series of unfortunate incidents have happened lately, and there is working through it that is being done.)
5) Finished my novel for my class tomorrow (yay!)
6) Decided not to grade those papers to return tomorrow. They can wait until Thursday. I don't care.
7) Worked in earnest on polishing the Book Proposal.

#7 is what has me energized. I don't know whether it's good or whether it sucks, but I'm interested in it. And I refuse to obsess over it: the point is to get it out there and to see what happens. It makes little sense to hang onto it longer and longer only to need to fuss with it more. I have, to this point, gone through one revision of one sample chapter and finished revising the others. With the sample chapter revisions not yet completed, I need to condense some quotes, add in some criticism, do a bibliography for just that chapter, and fuss with the notes (i.e., delete the Horrifyingly Obtuse Notes of Dissertating). I also revised the proposal itself, and the letter to go with it is ready to go for all but addresses. So the thing is to get the sample chapter that is in need of one more go-around done. My goal is to do that tomorrow. And to get the thing to the post office tomorrow. The reality is that the post office will probably happen on Wednesday, as I've also got to go run some Important Errands tomorrow that Cannot Wait. The point is, I want this out so that there is the remote possibility that one of these publishers will want to meet at MLA, which would make going to MLA about something other than interviewing. Also, if I send the proposal out, this will be motivation to do the (basically minor, except for in the new introduction) revisions that I need to make to the rest of the manuscript. And I need that motivation, as unless I send things out, I'm not motivated. I mean, sure, I think about self-motivating, but the whole thing about letting other tasks expand to the time available is true, thus I need some external pressure in order to keep the research chugging along. It's not that I don't love my research - I do - but it doesn't feel "necessary" in the way that teaching and service can. The fact of the matter is, the teaching and research stuff isn't as necessary as I make it out to be, or it is, but it really doesn't require the time that I devote to it when I'm not doing research. So I need to send shit out. Period.

And maybe this will just set me up for rejection, but maybe, like the article that was accepted at summer's end, just sending something will result in an addition to the CV. The fact of the matter is that while I love my dissertation-turned-book-manuscript, I'm done with it. I want to start working on the Next Book. And I can't do that until I deal with the First Book. (God, I totally have too much ambition for my current job. Research-wise, that is. Though the job shouldn't determine one's level of ambition. So maybe I'm just being a snob. In fact, I know I am, as my mentor in my department is a super-researcher, so I'm being dumb.)

I should make some notes for class tomorrow re: the Final Day of Discussion of the Novel. I don't really feel like it. Maybe I'll just post-it some relevant passages.

The point here, though, is that I'm feeling really good. After the Dark Night of the Soul that was Saturday, I'm in a motivated groove. Work may not be everything, but work is really fulfilling. Remind me of this when I complain tomorrow about the 85 students with whom I need to meet. (That is a total exaggeration. It's really like 4 students.)

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