Saturday: worked a half hour. Typical progress.
Sunday: did no revision work at all. Oh well.
Monday: Have worked for 45 minutes so far. Success! A breakthrough! Sometimes I worry that the "tunnel vision" method of just trying to rewrite a paragraph at a time will mean that I have a crapload of revision to do at the macro level once I've added in everything I need to add in. But I think one of the benefits of keeping it on the front burner at all times and chipping away at it (nearly) every day is that I am thinking about how the whole thing fits together on some semi-conscious level. Today I finished off writing up a paragraph and in tying together all the loose ends for that section it went off on a side direction. "Damn," I thought. "I'm gonna be another three days making sure my conclusions here actually link up to the next paragraph and flow through to the next section of my argument!"
But no! I'm looking at this next paragraph and realizing they flow together pretty well, and then I came up with a subhead that will tie these sections together and I am actually not slanting off in odd directions at all! Hallelujah! Whoo-hoo! On some level my brain has been keeping track of the threads and connections and the larger flow of the argument! Oh thank the gods --- maybe this means I'm getting better at revision! And maybe, in a huge hope against hope, this will mean that the process is getting easier --- or at least that I will get better results for the same amount of agony, I could live with that.
Ok, that's all --- now I'm going to go pee and then go get more coffee and get right back to fixing up this essay.