Drafting Week! Take 2.

Last week was officially Drafting Week! (TM) Of course, drafting is going more slowly that I would wish, even though I’m really re-drafting–taking old evidence from the four other drafts of this chapter and fitting it into a new argument. At the same time, though, I’m taking time to fill in blanks, finalize citations, and clean up the prose. I’m trying not to get sucked into making the first three pages perfect and barely finishing the conclusion, but I do find a certain momentum from working on a bit of clean-up before I move on to new paragraphs.

My big motivation this week is that I’m working with a freelance editor I’ve hired to turn this chapter into the article I’ve promised Very Patient Book Editor. (This freelance editor is also a friend, and a PhD in a related field.) The plan is that she’ll edit down the chapter, make sure I’ve answered all the editor’s comments, and format the article according to a very complicated (to my US mind) Belgian style sheet. So that means I must give her something to edit. And early enough that she has time to edit it. She’s asked for my completed chapter by Saturday.

Currently, I have 5,000 words, not including footnotes. My word limit for the article is 10,000, with footnotes. I think I’m done with a little over a third of my material. I’ve got my work cut out for me, and she’s going to get to work some editorial magic.

At this point, Editor Friend is the only thing keeping me sane. With one chapter at revision stage, one chapter in drafting, and one chapter left to write, I’ll be lucky (and hard working and disciplined) to get the dissertation done by my December goal. Add an article with a radically different style sheet to the mix, and I think I’d fall apart. I’d gladly give up coffee, buying books, and maybe even some furniture to pay EF. I’d probably even eat only ramen for a few months.

So here’s to EF and her editorial magic!


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