I have completed my second essay of the summer. About 10,000 words, combined. Neither is so done as to have been submitted, yet. The first needs to have references added. The second needs to have references changed from brief in-text notes to proper footnotes, and I’m waiting on an ILL delivery to add a long quotation that the argument needs. The first will have to wait another month; the second needs to be polished very soon.
I’m pleased with my productivity, the more so (at least from one perspective) because neither of these essays was on my radar at the beginning of May. A conference discussion made me think, “wow, better write that up before someone else does,” and then the summer issue of a journal made me think, “gee, I have things to contribute to that conversation,” and so I’ve been reading and thinking and writing these things. That’s the good news. The other side of the coin is that I had intended to write a book chapter this summer, along with revisions to a couple of accepted essays (MMP-2 and MMP-3), and I now have about 5 days to do those revisions, and the only way in which I’m closer to having written a book is that one of the summer essays is sort of a spin-off, or at least on the same main text, and so I’m re-submerged in that material.
Fortunately, I’m on leave, or I would have had to put all this work down to concentrate on syllabi awhile back, as well as grading, because in my classes we Hit The Ground Running, no gentle easing-in to a warm bath of education but rather a bracing plunge! My students get Hullified from the first day! Or they will. Next year.
I want to be Anthony Trollope and start straight in on revisions. However, though I felt quite energetic and absorbed while I was writing, now that I am done with all the substantive work, I feel like someone hit me over the head. It’s not even that I’ve been so deeply immersed in the latest essay. I took the whole weekend off to go to a wedding. Somehow, though, taking a break felt like a different thing from being done. All I feel fit for is staring into space.