I can’t face the mess of the 6000-word document any longer. I’ve opened a new document, and am working from the marked-up print-out as I move bits in. At first I was moving paragraph by paragraph, from the start of the original, and re-writing each paragraph lightly. Now the whole organization is shifting and I’m taking bits from here and there around the original. I got up to 2200 words in the new version and realized I left out a paragraph that needs to appear about 500 words back, only now the transition to it is rough and I’m not sure that the paragraph should be the previously-written paragraph. Maybe the original paragraph should all be footnote to a new paragraph.

This is the paper I wanted to have done before leaving for Leeds. Now I’m wondering if I can finish before classes start.

If there were more rose-beetles about, I’d go drown some, to relieve my feelings. I’ve only got 7 in the last two days, because yesterday it was raining and they don’t seem to like rain much. But I’m still afraid I’ll come back to find my roses hopelessly infested. Since I don’t want to use spray, I think I may have to offer the neighbors’ children a bounty on beetles.

I don’t know why this paper is being so difficult. It seems like a nice tidy topic, comparing two manuscripts, basically. Only everything I touch seems to grow tentacles. I have the Octopus Touch when it comes to writing. A bit like Jean de Meun, come to think of it.

The next post will likely be from across the pond. Toodles.

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3 thoughts on “Step . . . forward?

  1. I don't know whether it would be of any use to you whatsoever, but I would be happy to read your paper and even provide editing suggestions, if you think someone with absolutely no knowledge of your field could say anything useful.I say this because I often found that the only way to tame the octopus was to let it all out there, and then figure out what paper was lurking in the sprawl. And three chapters of my dissertation ended up being rewritten completely, because I finally realized I had them inside out. But! I'd already done the thinking and a big chunk of writing, so it was less onerous than starting over. Good luck with it, in any case.

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