- Fie's ongoing series
- Flavia Fescue and JaneB have done the New Year's meme.
- Bardiac has a year-end roundup.
- SophyLou has year-end resolutions and questions.
- Dame Eleanor Hull continues to free herself from unnecessary things.
- Leslie M-B resolves to do more writing.
- Tattooed Prof resolves to drink more coffee, do more blogging, and especially not to let time be stolen by academic processes:
Planning a process for planning another process. Bickering over semantics in a committee meeting, or worse: group-writing policy statements (LIGHT ME ON FIRE NOW). All of these steal our time.I didn't write as much last year because most of the year was taken up with smaller projects, a collaborative project, and the Laocoon manuscript, which meant lot of rewriting and revising but not as many new words.
As this blog's long-suffering readers know, the Laocoon manuscript took years of writing, editing, and fretting. It's now at the publisher (page proofs are coming next month), so it'll be out this year.
But having that boulder of a manuscript meant that I always knew what I was supposed to be doing next. There's an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show where Rob and Laura Petrie want to buy a house that seems perfect -- until they see the giant boulder that's in the cellar. It can't be moved and is a fixture in the house that they see every time they go into the cellar. It's an obstacle, true, but it's their obstacle, and they learn to structure their cellar around it. That's the Laocoon manuscript: the beloved obstacle that allowed me to focus on it and structure my writing space for the past few years.
But now, the Laocoon manuscript is gone, and this leaves me with the problem of the empty writing cellar. What do I do when I go to the writing space? Which project should I work on first? I have some promised essays to work on, some with deadlines that are quite soon, but I had those alongside the Laocoon manuscript, too. They don't take the place of the boulder, so to speak.
I'm starting by transcribing (to 750words & hence the research journal) a lot of the handwritten material that I wrote in the Moleskine notebook last year, omitting anything that went into the book revisions. It's the fancy kind that supposedly works with Evernote and is searchable if you take pictures of the pages, but I have never been able to make it recognize my handwriting.
I used to save the Moleskines for special notes and then realized I never wrote in them. Last year, I took to carrying the Moleskine everywhere and putting everything in it--schedules, conference notes, to-do lists, comments on books and movies, and daily records. Not all of it is going to be useful, but maybe it'll help as I look for the next boulder in the cellar.