Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Each of my chapters starts life on little scraps of paper. Eventually the really big concepts make it onto big pieces of paper and get posted on the wall above my desk. Sometimes the little scraps get tacked up somewhere, other times they are torn into lots of little pieces. While theraputic, it's also risky, as I tend to knock over my wastebasket quite often. When I have enough big pieces of paper, I start to write.

The hardest part of this is the initial transfer onto big pieces of paper. I try to find clever ways to distract myself - I'll watch a movie, for example - but it's always nerve wracking. I know that I will rely on these sheets of paper and stare at them for hours on end, and I'll always woried that I will get a critical date wrong. I also need to leave enough room for the little pieces of paper yet to emerge from the dark corners of my brain. Did I mention that I have really lousy handwriting? (It's improved due to the need to use blackboards and leave legible comments, but that's not saying much.)

Since the advisor (may his good health and spirits remain constant, particularly when he is writing his comments on my chapter) won't be getting back to me any time soon, this is a good time to do the big pieces for the next chapter. I've done one, and started a second. Gulp! Thank goodness for Simon Schama's "History of Britain" miniseries.

Words Written: working on the big pieces of paper
Lessons Graded: twenty-eight


John B. said...

Reminds me of when I tried to learn to use a Franklin Daily Planner.

The whole theory of the planner is that you write everything down in it, no scraps of paper, notebooks, etc. for your daily tasks, address books, etc.

I think I threw the planner out a week after I got it...

If the 'Post-It-Notes' people ever go out of business, I am in serious trouble.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good to me. Any system has to be better than no system. :)

Don said...

Nice descripton of your writing processes. I like the visual building of little facts or ideas into a larger structure.

And yes, I hope that your advisor lives a long and healthy life, too.