It may not be exactly "starting over," but the poor book ms., abandoned in the flurry of MLA and associated paper-writing, not to mention the holidays and the start of classes, must feel, well, neglected.
How to begin again? Here's the plan:
(1) Print it out. Reading on the screen just doesn't give me the same perspective, and I will recycle the paper, so yes, that's necessary.
(2) Read it--all of it--while resisting the temptation to fix things at the sentence level.
(3) Go back through the research journal (printed version) and see what I've forgotten or missed. Highlight those parts and put an X through what's already done.
(4) Assess the roughest parts of more or less finished chapters and list the improvements needed--and then leave them alone for now.
(5) Generate some actual new text on the chapters not yet started and rough in some sections on the half-finished chapters.
(6) Go back to the "write every day" plan, even if that means using 750words.com again, since that really did help to establish the habit.
(7) Rev up the Excel chart again, since that acts as a conscience in tabular form.
As part of this new plan, I also have two resolutions:
(1) I'm going to try to reserve the computer where I write for writing and class work, not reading distraction sites.
(2) I want to have a complete draft of my next conference paper done at least 3 weeks before the next conference.