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Thursday, August 11, 2005
Revisions of the Revised
Today's project: continue with the revisions to the two chapters I've been working on all week.
I have discovered that making revisions to a chapter or a paper is almost as bad as sitting down to write a first draft. Although I have a complete draft of two chapters sitting in front of me, an outline of how they should be revised, and comments from my advisors telling me what is good and what should be changed, I still find myself reluctant to work on these chapters again. I had to force myself to face the computer again this morning; after I am done posting here, I should probably tie myself to this chair for the afternoon so I don't wander off and work on something else.
The problem: I'm so tired of these two chapters I could die. They are important chapters, and chapters I've discussed ad nauseum with my advisors and friends. They are the chapters I will send out in my job packets this fall. I know they have to be very, very polished, and they will be -- I just wish I could muster up the gumption to work on them (again). I think a big part of the problem now is that I KNOW how they should look, and I'm so sick of thinking about it that putting it all in writing (again) just seems like a terribly tedious process. And it is.
I'm very much a "multiple drafts" kind of person -- my first draft is usually just to get things out, the second is a polished effort, and the third is the final. I am on the third draft of these chapters, and what's so agonizing is that each draft is essentially a full-scale rewrite. If I look at drafts one and two, they are very, very different. Draft three will be different still. So, for a 25 page chapter, I will essentially write 75 pages of text. Granted, there are certain sections that I can just copy and paste, but for the most part I find that I must rewrite instead of reorganize. It's not that drafts one and two are bad -- it's that by the time I get to draft three my ideas are more precise, and the language of draft two, especially, doesn't seem to fit anymore.
So, that's my plan for the afternoon -- redraft Chapter Two into its final form. Chapter Three, which will be considerably easier, will be the weekend's project.
Miscellaneous Stuff: speaking of revisions, I think I must revise my list from yesterday's post. In the "who do you miss most" category, I now wish to place my friends from graduate school, most of whom were a year or two ahead of me. They are now flung across the United States, starting new tenure-track jobs. I had a call from one of them yesterday, and I realized just what a gaping hole they have all left in my life -- this academic year will be difficult to bear without them. So, if you ever come across this JY, MS, AB, or BJS, I miss you terribly and send you my love.
And another note to Nicole, Shell, Becca, Alice, Leah, Mary and other friends from my online mother's group -- sorry I post so infrequently! I think about you all quite often, and hope you won't forget about me! Forgive me for asking you to read this drivel.