Tuesday, June 21, 2011

One down, lots to go

I think I've done all the editing that I can stand do on this [insert expletive-laden adjectives here] article I've been working on for ages.  I polished and polished, and after giving it to a colleague to read over, have polished some more, and added a few more readings to my knowledge bank.  (Very much against my will, but sometimes you need to CYA, you know?)  I can't stand to look at the miserable thing anymore — I feel I need to take a deep breath before I even print out the latest draft to read it over for copyediting purposes.  Someone commented recently on a blog that I read, suggesting that this surge of antipathy toward one's own work in progress is an indicator that it's almost ready to send out.  Sure hope so!

So, assuming this is done and ready to submit to the journal I'm targeting, that means I can knock off precisely zero tasks from my sidebar.  I hadn't even mentioned this article there, because I didn't think it would take so goddamn long to get the revisions done.  I've barely kept up my part of the first wave of the Greater Blogland Writing Group on the second article this year that I'm drafting, and I actually must refer to my computer files to ascertain when I last opened any of the chapters of my book manuscript.  It was a week ago, FYI.  Yeah, I suck.

All of this is affected, of course, by the logistical complications of coming back to the US, but that doesn't excuse my smacked-ass levels of concentration since then.  I desperately want to lay the blame for this at the feet of my family, whom I love and missed while I was abroad, but who also drive me to distraction and completely blow my concentration to hell with every errand they ask me to run, and every visit to relatives that they attempt to impose on me.  And I can't tell them all to suck it, because some of them are putting me up for free here in Hometown, since I of course don't have my own place, and some others have a wide variety of claims on me and my time while I'm in town.  Still, I'm reaching the point where I might have to duck out of the house early each morning and head to a cafĂ© they don't frequent an undisclosed location, just so I can think straight for an hour or two.

Ahem.  But, as I was saying, the slowdown is still ultimately my responsibility.  I'm trying to tell myself that things will speed up when I have submitted Article #1 and don't have it hanging over my head like a sour little cloud.  Maybe it even will.  Lord knows it'll be easier to focus on the writing group article, which will thereby decrease my guilt and sense of imminent public shame at failing to meet my measly weekly goals.  Sigh.

Writing is hard business, isn't it?


  1. 1. You don't suck. You WROTE it! Go, you!
    2. After you print it out and read it one final time, send it off. You will INSTANTLY feel better.

    Yay, Dr. K!

  2. Writing is hard business, isn't it?

    Hells yeah it is!

  3. I feel your pain. I have this accepted-but-in-limbo article that I've been working on for ... uh... I can't even really remember how long. Three years? Anyway. It's part of a book collection, and it's been in editorial hell forever. I am hoping that this last revision (submitted in May) will be it, and I'll never have to think about it again. Sigh.

    And yeah, family is super distracting. Maybe try hitting a local library and get some work done there. Good luck, Dr. K!

  4. No you don't suck. Writing is hard work. I do think that we often forget that it is hard work....and do as Ink suggests. It's good advice.

  5. Writing IS work, and you should relax because there's no such thing as not-writing. Everything contributes, even the distractions, to an understanding that one arrives at.

  6. I am so with you. It's so hard to get things done when there are a million other things going on in one's life. Let's do this! We're both going to work hard and churn out kick-ass articles that will land t-t jobs!

  7. I have precisely the same family visit dynamic. And I *do* claim the first 2 1/2 hours of every day for myself in some coffee shop (which in Puddletown, are very good indeed).

    Report in tomorrow, soldier!