Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Journal of the Working Weeks

This is a journal to keep track of my writing process during the "working week" program that I've laid out for myself.

14.01.2008 Wrote the first paragraph (from 8:00 to 8:20) and posted it. It was based on light reading in Grierson the night before. I was not in doubt about the the overall theme ("composition and construction") and knew that the three elements to be introduced would be the sentence, the paragraph and the whole the text. The quotes leapt out at me while reading to this end. I had a hard time with the last sentence, which I'm not quite happy with.

15.01.2008 It took me about half an hour (6:00 to 6:30) to write about the sentence. The paragraph strikes me as a bit choppy and should perhaps make its debt to Wittgenstein more explicit. I had company last night, so I didn't get a chance to read Grierson until this morning, over breakfast, immediately before writing. Also, I'm off to Leicester in a few hours (9:20 departure) so I may not be at my most focused. Still, it was good to get up and do this.

16.01.2008 "The paragraph." The first of two posts I will have to write on the road (in Leicester). It went pretty well. I read two pages of Grierson before bed and dipped into it again over breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Returned to my room and wrote most of the paragraph in about twenty minutes (7:30-7:50). I then needed to arrange an internet connection, after which I wrote the last two sentences, added the Grierson quote, and did a bit of editing (about 10 minutes).

17.01.2008 I got up late and was running out of web-time. Quickly wrote the main points and posted. The "whole text" paragraph will probably need a lot of editing.

18.01.2008 My flight out of Birmingham (yesterday afternoon) was cancelled. Impressively, they got me to Copenhagen through Munich, only 4.5 hours late, arriving at 23.30. On the flight I was plagued by a toothache, however, so instead of writing this morning I went to the dentist and had a wisdom tooth (with a cavity) removed. I'll write the last of the five paragraphs on composition tomorrow morning.

19.01.2008 I read over the four preceding paragraphs and wrote the last one. I gave myself exactly 30 minutes to do all of that, and worked against the clock. That is, during the last five minutes, I simply polished the rough edges of what I had accomplished so far. Then I posted it. Tomorrow (Sunday), I will rest.

21.01.2008 Started writing at 8.00 and posted at 8.31. I actually began with the last few sentences ("Texts often crumble...") but it seemed right to start with Grierson (the text to be deconstructed). Also, I thought I was going to introduce an essay that would deconstruct along the lines of composition: that is, a paragraph devoted to the whole text, one to the paragraph, and one to the sentence. But I changed my mind half-way through. This essay will traverse this classical structure and deal with (in)coherence, (excess of) emphasis, and (multiple) points of view (each to be given a single paragraph, of course).

22.01.2008 Late start today (needed to get the children off to kindergarden). Wrote from 9.00-9.30 and spent too much time editing (about 10 minutes). Posted at about 9.40 (note that the time stamp on the post marks when the text-editor was opened -- I then paste the text into the editor from Notepad). It is harder to write the deconstructive text, and the paragraphs are longer. Looking forward to editing.

23.01.2008 Started slowly, but worked steadily from 9.30-10.00 directly in Blogger's text editor. It actually went quite well, although the topic ("emphasis") is perhaps not as clearly distinguished from that of the preceding paragraph ("coherence") as I would have liked. Still, a nice statement about deconstruction based on the analysis of Gould and Jarrett I did with Asmund a while ago (published last year). It suggests a future deconstructive reading of Weick, actually. Real progress made. [Update: I've been rereading some of the posts today, catching minor and major errors. E.g., "knowledge by aquitance"!]

24.01.2008 I am taking the kids to the dentist this morning, so I have had to get up very early. I started at about 5.30 and posted at 6.10. A few minutes arguably went to making coffee and waking up in general. But it's still taking too long to write deconstructive paragraphs, which are themselves also too long. Interesting lesson. I read Grierson's chapter on point of view before going to bed last night and had a "singular purpose", as it were, when I sat down at the machine this morning. But it was not as easy as I thought it would be.

25.01.2008 Wrote the last of the rough paragraphs from 6.45 to 7.10, immediately upon waking. I read through the four preceding ones first and went back to them often as I wrote. I was trying to find some way of binding them together but the result feels somewhat artificial. I wasn't at the top of my game (felt a bit groggy, actually).

28.01.2008 Assembled and edited the first five-paragraph essay, "Composition", this morning. I think it can be improved quite a lot.

29.01.2008 Assembled the second five-paragraph essay and read it over very quickly (barely at all). I am teaching a PhD course today and want to write a few reflections on the "working week" project this morning as well.

No comments: