Thirtieth Days

Still on sabbatical. Thirty days. Work rhythms have been more predictable and disciplined lately. Up early enough, write until noon or so. Out of this, a chapter takes shape–the third chapter. I just sent it off to the editor. Just over 10,000 words. Fourty-eight references. Ten original figures plus the linked-clickable animated index. Something like 44 pages. Embedded notes about “could do more this this” and “could do more with that.” Threaded through is a realization that I’ve been working on this chapter for a few years. And then up next will be a hard revision of the second chapter, hacking away at its extralong bulk, then adding back another 3,500 words. It’s basically a concept review: three concepts. And two are done; one remains. 

Doubling Back

I emerged from Netheruary break on Monday still in a bit of a haze from the
weekend. Did you see that the Giants won the Superbowl? Enjoyed
every minute of it.

But this is an entry about the diss. I expected that I would bound back
into my daily paces on Monday, resume the 9-noon sessions, aiming for roughly
two pages each day so as to have a draft of Chapter Four by the end of February.
But I fell into a slump. I couldn’t see the chapter. I knew vaguely what I
wanted to do. I had an outliney plan, a few notes, a bottle of Vitamin Water. I had the graphs I
painstakingly built day by day throughout January. And I remain fond of the
graphs. I think they’re quite good for getting at what I take to be the aim of
the chapter. But! I couldn’t grasp the chapter; couldn’t sense it,
couldn’t begin it in a smart-enough place. And, therefore, piling them up 2 p.
by 2 p. by 2 p., I typed nearly seven pages of rubbish between Monday and
Wednesday. I would excerpt some of it to win my point; then again, I would
never subject you to such inhospitable treatment.

Continue reading →