Intensity and Balancing Acts

This week just FLEW by. I can’t believe it’s Friday already. Although I don’t have the finished draft of my article that I wanted, I pushed myself and feel great about the progress made and what I have so far. I am feeling pretty great about submitting this article for publication by the end of the month. I don’t remember the last time I worked so intensely on something –you know when you look up and it’s three hours later? The kind of intensity that reminds me why I love my job (I get to do this for a living?!!!). The only downside I can see is that the intensity has been spent on an article, not the book. But, considering the fact that the article is 1) really interesting (to me) and 2) going to count for tenure sooner than the book, that really isn’t much of a down side.

Here is a summary of my week:

Book Progress: I want to make sure that this chapter does not read like an article, but that it is in fact an important contribution to the overall argument of the book. The problem is that right now, I have a statement of argument written for the book as part of its abstract, but I’m not 100% certain it’s “right” yet. Something that scares me is spending hours upon hours writing something  without being whole convinced of the argument (after all, if the book doesn’t have an argument, it’s not a book). I have come to believe, however, that writing is thinking, and it is through my writing that the “real” argument of the book will reveal itself.

Right now, I am satisfied with the progress I’ve made. If this book will be six chapters long, this means I have two months to devote to each chapter. In outlining the chapter I’m working on right now (btw, I have found using Hayne’s preferred method, the grid, to be very beneficial in creating it), I see where I am going to have to conduct some good, old-fashioned “book” research. Two months is plenty to complete a first draft. I will be happy if the chapter has a coherent beginning, middle, and end.

A big question remains unanswered for me right now, and that is whether I will work on more than one chapter at a time. Right now, I’m disinclined to do so. Working on two projects as I’m doing is not impossible, but it is annoying. This week, I have worked more intensely on this article than I remember working on anything in a long time. It’s a great feeling, and I’m excited by the prospect of submitting it for publication by the end of the month (granted, I did not finish a complete draft this week, though I am close). However, the time I have spent on this article has been time away from the book. And while this is all right with me this week, I prefer to work on one project at a time because that means I can complete it and cross it off my list already. I also lost a lot of time that I should have spent coding.

My goals for the week of 1/21-1/25

Book Manuscript Article
Continue working on chapter.

Research medical systems.

Re-read writing on commodity fetishism, commodification, and Neoliberalism.

Finish article draft!!!!


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