Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Second, Subsequent Streams

Revisions have been challenging. Having resolved myself to more drafting before squaring with revisions, the commented drafts of my dissertation's introduction and first two chapters tend to taunt me. I haven't figured out how to fit it in, how to make room for it given the other regular paces. I'd been meaning (for a couple of weeks) to get through some of the first-stage directorial comments to those early chapters, mostly because I want them to be ready for the rest of my committee sometime in Marchpril and also because I have at least one other reader who I'm trying to get them ready for. So I took a leap head-long into the "When will I revise?" problem on Saturday, and spent most of the day with it.

The introduction was fairly easy. It's elastic: short, overviewy, and without glaring needs. It was manageable to get through all of the comments, and make appropriate adjustments, leaving aside the summaries of the last two chapters (5, 6) because are yet unwritten. But working through Chapter One was somewhat more daunting; I expected this since it is much thicker than the introduction. I got through all of the superficial stuff, and ended up with a list, indexed by page, of what is left: two placeholder notes (no work required), four easy changes (citation adding, a one-sentence gloss on this or that), seven moderately difficult changes (almost all of which require some re-reading of sources), and one major change (a section that I will probably re-write from scratch with a slightly different--simpler--focus). It is helpful to have the index; but I don't know when I will get to it. Perhaps in Marchpril. Or Mayune. (Ay, clearly, we need a better vocabulary for two-month units).

I am not in panic mode about the demands of revision, the frequency or scope of the changes due (I know because I have not been tempted to add exclamatory emphasis to any of this.). But I still don't know how to work those revisions into what has been, out of necessity, a fairly compacted daily schedule. In this room-for-revision conundrum there lingers a problem of rhythm-breaking, and it's difficult to embrace that challenge when it's been so challenging just to establish a more or less even writing rhythm (the dailiness of dissertating, call it). Perhaps as much as anything, blogging has prepared me for the dailiness, but I still feel somewhat spun-around (i.e., vertigahh!) by the prospect of taking revision very seriously while drafting. To say nothing of other projects needing attention. So maybe if I stack all of it in a tidy pile on the deepest corner of my desk, it will still be there when I get to it in a couple of weeks.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at February 19, 2008 12:30 PM to Dissertation,Rhythms