Damn, it's been how long since I looked at my pile of book-publishing advice and assorted crap? It took me most of today just to read through it all and figure out where I last got stuck.
I'm not done with the postdocs and other thingies to apply to, but the next deadline on my list is for a short-term research grant and after reading through what they wanted, I thought it might resemble a book proposal. So I went back to the pile, and then suddenly the day was over. (there might have been a spontaneous nap there somewhere in the middle of the afternoon. I'm not sayin'.)
I'm still stumped on what comes next in the dissertation-to-book revisions. Well, I guess I'm not. Next is to reprint out the whole fucker and reread it while making a running commentary of what needs to be changed. I know part of the flailing is me procrastinating, trying to avoid confronting my own writing. Maybe if I do absolutely everything else that needs to be done first, I wish to myself, when I open up the dissertation at last I will discover it is perfect and needs no revisions at all!
That's ridiculous, I say back to myself sternly. Then my id promptly knocks me unconscious in the middle of the afternoon. I'm beginning to think that even when I am alone in the room I'm outnumbered.
So anyway, this is all a mush for me right now --- picture me waving my arms wildly above my head as if trying to swat hundreds of invisible gnats and that's a pretty accurate image of my thoughts. On the other hand, before you offer worried sympathy and advice, by now it should be clear that flailing about kinda is my methodology, that and talking myself through it and taking every single wrong turn to make sure it is wrong before doing the right one.
But I'm stumped by how to map out a timeline for manuscript revisions and the whole publishing process and then also have it match a grant that will be available for disbursal next spring, not this one. Hell, I'm totally confused as how to just map out a timeline for everything for revisions and proposals and stuff without then matching it to a separate award cycle.
I made a list of all the things I need to do ... but can't really make a list without rereading the dissertation and finding out how much work needs to be done. But didn't then take the next logical step of actually, you know, doing that.
And I'm still confused even after I went back through the Germano books, Dissertation to Book and the Serious Guide to Serious Books one. Do I send out letters of inquiry or full-scale proposals? Do I revise everything before I even send out any proposals or inquiries or what? Do I send out emails to some presses to meet with them at MLA? And would those emails be letters of inquiry or propsals? And do I even need to meet people at MLA or what? What is the purpose of those meetings even? What would I need to do now, pre-MLA, and what could I save for later?
I have the feeling that I've already dithered back and forth about this on the blog and people gave me lovely answers and helpful advice, but I hadn't posted in a while (I've been too tired to write, only to read and comment on other peoples' posts, when I get back in the evenings), so I just went ahead and started kvetching.
Of course, there are other things besides book revisions to add to my November and December to-do lists, including about ... 8 or so postdocs and maybe 1 or 2 more job apps. They have later deadlines, so I'm (surprise!) on the fence, dithering back and forth, about whether to knock them all out this week and then turn to only book-pondering, or to wait until closer to the deadlines. I guess by pulling out my piles and getting the mental hamster wheels spinning again I have made a decision, huh?
At some point I want to review a movie I saw last week but that will involve pulling pictures and actually having an idea, which is beyond my capabilities these evenings lately.
In other news, based on some job-letter advice that was given me, I have been practicing writing smaller paragraphs rather than the synapse-shorting monsters I usually produce for the blog and my own research. Have you noticed? Is it more readable? I have to say, this is killing me! I have no idea why breaking up and simplifying paragraphs is so hard for me, but it's like torture. Even though I can see why they are so much easier to read through, particularly on the computer screen. If I had my druthers, or perhaps if my id had its druthers, I'd produce everything in one ginormous monster brick of a paragraph, 300 yards long, possibly lacking any sort of punctuation as well.
What am I saying? If my id had its way I would do nothing but nap and eat chocolate all day.
You know, I had been toying with the idea of naming my id and making it a full-fledged character on the blog. But I think that might weird people out. And be kinda complicated to explain. All I gotta say though is even if I became a monk or a hermit my life story would not lack a full cast of characters.