Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Progress Report 3

This is really not the satisfying week of writing I'd been anticipating. But it is having one of the very desired effects of sitting down and doing the work. I'm discovering how vague my understanding of what I've been doing all these years really is. I'm writing plenty of prose, but it seems to me to be quite breezy. Today I wrote another 10 paragraph, and more than 2000 words in two hour-and-a-half sessions. But if I'd put my mind to it I could probably have doubled that.

Tomorrow, I'll write the last 2000 words that my draft is missing. That's a day or two ahead of schedule, depending on how you count (I have also started a day earlier than I originally planned to). So my task for Thursday will be to read the thing through and make an after-the-fact outline. I think that at that point it will become clear where the substance of the paper is missing. I can then spend the Friday and Saturday sessions doing something about it, after which I will send to someone who has kindly offered to read it.

There's still half a year to submission, so I'm not worried. But I do think I have some serious thinking to do in that time, in addition to the rewriting I will certainly have to do. In this case, the writing is becoming an occasion for self-knowledge, and the beginning of a new reading plan as well.


Jonathan said...

That seems awful fast. I could do maybe 400 words in 2 1/2 hours. Writing 2,000 in one day is something I don't want to even think about. And I am a relatively fast writer.

Thomas said...

Like I say, it's not very good writing. But it is fleshing out the outline.

To put it in perspective, keep in mind that I've been training myself to write about 700 words in 45 minutes through my morning blogging routine.

Also, I do firmly believe that an academic writer who is "in shape" should be able to write coherent 200-word paragraph (about something s/he knows) in 30 minutes virtually on command.

The experiment this week just has to do with getting 8000 words down on the page as quickly as possible. There will then be a lot of editing and rewriting.

I'm definitely swooping here, not bashing.