Sunday, May 16, 2010

I can't get started

I've flown around the world in a plane
I've settled revolutions in Spain...
So, how, exactly, am I supposed to take my dissertation and turn it into a book manuscript?  How does one invent a book prospectus?  What the hell am I supposed to say and do?

No doubt I'll eventually hear some answers to these questions, but for the moment they're stumping me.  I feel especially lost right now, since the two advisors whom I most need to consult are unavailable until next week.  Even my favorite writing trick of bribing myself with a nice breakfast and coffee failed miserably this morning: by the end of breakfast, I just felt bloated and stupid.

I'll be able to deal with at least some further research questions this coming year on my postdoc, but I honestly don't know what those questions are yet.  How does one determine the strengths and weaknesses of a book that doesn't yet exist?  It's not quite as simple as saying, "This house could use a fourth wall."  Somehow, I have to figure out what my dissertation manuscript crucially lacks, then figure out the degree to which I can conduct research to rectify those areas of weakness.  And then, insanely, I have to start laying out an unfinished book before I even go off to Research City to dig into those follow-up questions.

It's all making me rather anxious, and I find myself staring over at the liquor bottles in the corner, and it's not even noon.  Get hold of yourself, Koshary!



  1. Your first stop should be Germano's book *From Dissertation to book* and then your second stop should be Germano's *Getting It Published*. Both books were invaluable to me when I was in the "how the heck does one find a book in a dissertation?" phase.

  2. Duly purchased! Thanks for the recs, Crazy. I've already blown through _Getting It Published_ while I wait for the first to arrive in the mail. I rather dread how much work likes in front of me with this project, but I suppose there's no getting around it.

  3. Aaargh -- make that "lies in front of me." I need coffee.