Yes, that's the reason for this second post on a Saturday. See, I've been busily Not Finishing My Book for a couple of months now. This has some similarities to Not Finishing One's Dissertation. You see the light at the end of the tunnel, you know that if you just set your mind to it that you could knock the thing out, but instead you decide it would be better to make yourself feel really guilty and stressed out first because without pain there is no gain, and so it's important to make the process as painful as possible so that you can feel especially proud of yourself when you actually finish because, you know, all the pain makes it "mean" more. Oh, and NFMB also means that I can't allow myself other certain pleasures, even necessities, because it's part of the important work of making myself miserable. So, for example, I've not been cooking. As I sit and write this, I'm eating a pathetic South Beach frozen pizza. I've got food I could cook, but you know, as I should be working, I can't allow myself that pleasure. One positive, though, is that NFMB means that all of my laundry's done, that I've cleaned my bedroom, that I've cleaned the bathroom, and also that I've taken out the trash. I have also written 3 job letters.
But I should be nicer to myself. Today I actually *have* begun finishing my book in earnest. I've completed the changes to the first two chapters, I've got notes for the more substantial changes to chapters 3 and 4. I intend tomorrow to go to the library to get some necessary tomes, and by Tuesday I hope to have all minor edits finished, to have extensive notes for all substantial changes, and to have only the more substantial changes to tackle next weekend and the weekend after. The more substantial changes generally include fleshing out my readings with references to other works in the authors' oeuvres, and this isn't something that is ultimately that difficult - it just requires some broadening and deepening of my perspective that takes some intellectual stretching that, during the semester, I'm having a bit of a hard time focusing enough to do. My aim is to send the manuscript off to my editor Oct. 1 so that they can look at it and I can have one more pass through it before the final delivery deadline. Also, that means that I can begin working on the index (oh, sweet jesus, the index).
It does help that I've worked my schedule (oh, the joy of mandatory conferencing) so that I've got 3 days this weekend and 3 days next weekend, which is always a good thing when one is trying to make a big push of this sort. So I think I'm going to allow myself to quit for today, and tomorrow I'll wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and begin work anew.
Did I mention the fact that I've got my first stack of papers to grade in my bag? Yeah, I'm thinking that Monday night is the soonest I can even begin to think about looking at those.
2 years ago