Friday, January 21, 2011

My Brain Hurts

Wow, I'm not sure why I am so tired. I know I was exhausted after the Stripey class endurance-marathon, and I went to bed early and got up late, but I'm still feelin' it.

Or maybe I am so tired because I have been thinking, and I'm out of practice. Like when I would go a month without the spin class and then go back (speaking of, I need to get back on that track too. Ugh, that's not gonna be fun --- it has been way more than a month for that!)

You see, I looked at my schedule and decided that Friday was going to have a reading/research block scheduled in permanently in the mornings. (I had originally planned 8-11, but felt groggy when my cats awoke me at 6, and so today I did 9-12.) So I spent the morning finding and rereading all of my notes-and-quotes and drafts of that one old article I never finished, and have been trying to figure out where to go from there.

It was exhausting. I think part of it is that the article is exhausting. I'm trying to pick apart some ideas that maybe can't be picked apart, and back when I was working on it I kept getting stuck and frustrated about what to write about first, and looking over the draft material now I get that same feeling of lost-ness and impossibility and feeling like I was on the wrong track. (FYI: So and So dies because his worldview separates these inseparable ideas, making it impossible for him to actually theorize and envision the world accurately and thus survive it. And that's a large part of my argument. So I really think there is something real about this point that I can't pick apart these ideas and talk about them in a linear way.)

Anyway, I'm now back to the point of stuck-ness I was when I last looked at this article which was ... oh god I'm not sure I wanna know. Over a year ago? Hmph. I have refreshed my memory to where I am and what research I have done, and looked at all the various ways I could lead off or organize the thing, and come to the same conclusion as last time ---- that I have a lot of little interesting ideas that don't really come together in something large enough to be an article. So I am still thinking about that. And also, coming back to it after a long absence, I have decided that a lot of my more drafted stuff is not actually about the most interesting questions, and that I want to go back to some of the key themes I first had when this was a conference paper. I may go back and re-use stuff from that draft later and work it in, but I think that I need to start this go with a fresh sheet of paper and a consistent voice ---- the voice of me now, not me and my ideas from a couple years ago spliced with the new ideas and style of me today. So I picked a new place to start with and started a little writing.

So I'm both tired and excited about the whole thing. I feel I really need to get on this and show I have been doing something (since job applicating and teaching are invisible in the cv world), and it is definitely fun to get back to research and thinking after all that teaching. Yes, I may be grading all weekend over the semester, but I don't have to prep for tomorrow (yay!), so Friday is my research day.

So how to schedule this out? Could I have a draft by the end of the semester? I have no clue how much time classes will take once we're really in the thick of things. If I could write a page a day, like I was doing when dissertating, I could finish a draft in a month. But that was when I was doing nothing but dissertating, or maybe TAing one class. But if I wrote a page a day and only wrote those on Fridays, we are talking about a month of Fridays here. Hmm, how would that work out? Let's look. Ok, so that would be 16 pages by the end of the semester. Gah! That's only half of an article. Hmm. It looks like I may need to schedule more writing time in the week --- no, that I definitely need to schedule more time in --- but I don't know yet if/where I can really do that.

Hmm. Well, this looks nice and concrete and do-able: one article draft over one semester. Step 1 is to pick away more at that outline and thinking it through, and step 2 is to go back to the weekly schedule and figure out where I am going to carve out more time for writing. Two pages a week, that's all I ask!

Now if I only knew how to paste this html code into the sidebar over there, I could keep track of things with a shiny thing. Hmm.

1 comment:

Earnest English said...

Oh this is inspiring! I've GOT to get this article done -- and it's similar to yours in that I'm going back to something old -- and had just figured out that I probably need to add in some work I did more recently, then see what happens to the whole. 2 pages a week seems like SUCH a worthy and maybe even doable goal. Can I catch some of your steam?

My word is nosio. I don't mean to nosio my way into your business.