It was probably the most productive I have been in a long time or will be again ---- it felt great to be able to do two things on my task list at the same time! If only revising the chapters would go as quickly as printing them out. Heh.
I didn't make it through all of the chapter though. That's not surprising, as it's the first one I wrote, and I am marking all over it, and also I'm trying to figure out how to make what Germano calls "deep" rather than "cosmetic" revisions. Cosmetic revisions are what we have all done before in grad school --- taking a chapter and making it clearer and stronger. Deep revisions are all about completely rethinking the structure --- what needs to happen to translate this work from a dissertation into a book.
Since I don't have an introduction, a lot of the theoretical overview stuff got dumped into this chapter, as did a lot of the general introductory background stuff. However, since it was the first thing I wrote, there's a lot of "paranoid beginning writer tics" too. You know what those are, the weird, tentative statements encrusted with obsessive justifications and citations for everything.
So my notes to myself so far are about distinguishing what should go, what should get moved into an intro (and then restated here? or not?) and what should just get sharpened up. Or elaborated upon; while I may hyperactively reference the most obvious things ("the definition of is, according to recent scholars, is..."), I have big fat gaps in other, more important chunks of the argument. Like, for instance, how we get from good ol' Judy B to the actual topic of nosepicking. Or I immediately complicate my claim without, you know, actually stating what the claim initially is. Brilliant.
The good news is that I think it is a bad chapter, I think it is a lumpy chapter with introduction-warts growing out of it in places, but I still think it is a workable chapter. I'm not going to scrap it or return to my research and start over. I'm just going to beat the shit out of it until it looks as good as the last chapter I wrote. Or even better.
Figure 1: (left) My first chapter, represented by a five-year-old's first attempt at making a teacup. Figure 2: (right) My fifth chapter, represented by the final project of a retiree taking a community college pottery class. Clearly I would like to get back into making arts and crafts type things as well.
So, tonight I'm going to ILL a couple books I want to look at because they are in a series that seems applicable to my
And obviously I'm going to need to put in some effort to get my head in the proper psychic space for thinking of this as an actual book project. But, as you can see, it's all about the small steps!