It might not come as a surprise at nearly three months after I began my little endeavor (hah! “little”) I’ve had some moments of feeling completely overwhelmed. This week I experienced significant discomfort for the opposite reason. Although I can’t say the chapter draft is complete, I have a good sense of its argument and where it’s going. I have a solid 19 pages of ethnography, which makes me happy, and I am excited to get comments back from two very respected women in my field, which I hope will help guide my next steps. I also am conceptualizing my next chapter, which will be engaging with the diagnostic manuals (DSM-IV and ICD-10) as part of a neoliberal normalizing narrative of standards (as I’m writing, I’m wondering if Talal Asad’s work on secularism and human rights might not bear some relevance, particularly considering the fact that the ICD-10 was developed by the world health organization. It’s a chapter I don’t envision as having viability as an article (?) but it feels relevant to my subject. What bothers me a bit right now is that while I have a clear vision of my current chapter and of the next, the book is feeling a little blurry. And all books need a concise argument supported by its chapters. While I know the story I am telling, I feel shaky about its argument.
Then again, writing is thinking, and it is very possible that the argument will reveal itself as I write.
Meantime, I have to submit one grant proposal by May 1st, and another by May 16th. Fun for me!
Wish me luck….