I may be crazy; please someone stop me if so. Rather than work to close the deal on chapter 4, today I started brainstorming stuff for chapter 5. Heaven help me. I think I may be committing a grave stupidity. I have a negative model for this, after all ---- Prof. Nonsequitor, who had three books 80 % written when s/he went up for tenure and had a huge tussle of a tenure bid. There are good reasons to focus down on one thing at a time and get stuff signed off right away. (Oh, Prof N. came here from somewhere else on the tt and had a book and an edition already, so all turned out well ---- don't worry that tenure standards are being lowered and people are tenured based on phantom books at our fine institution.)
This means I have personally seen what it is like to create crazy, ambitious, all-over-the board projects or to start too many projects and then try to get through the various hoops of academia. But still, I'm feeling a little stuck on my Ch. 4 draft, and very very blah about it. I went back to it and solved one of my problems ---- with some distance and perspective I could see that I needed to cut a huge chunk anyway and that resolved the way my argument wasn't quite consistent ---- but now it's about 30 pages and I'll need to expand things and flesh stuff out (hopefully not funyunize) and I Just. Really. Don't. Want. To. Look. At. It. Gah.
So I've been beginning the brainstorming process on Chapter 5. If I get really stuck, I hope that it will just send me back to finishing Chapter 4 with renewed vigor. Maybe I can trade off between them and work faster that way. I'm just hoping I don't become one of those wild-eyed grad students skulking through the library for years in subjugation to their architectonic masterpiece but never showing anything written or finished to anyone until the very end (if there is a very end).