Finishing a Book: Part 1

wp_20161025_20_26_28_proFor two years, I did research for a scholarly book that has been set aside for a while. Due to a recent revelation about how it should be structured, I have now decided to push through and finish it whatever it takes. Most of the research is done and there will be little if anything added to the materials. As much as I and my colleagues love to talk about research, there is also the practical work of bringing it all together in a finished product. What does it take to finish a book? I do editing work on the side and have enough experience to know what has to be done. I know the materials inside out. Everything should be in place for this thing to just emerge page after nicely edited page.

Unfortunately, it is not that easy. Some of the things needed to get there are easy to fix. To get things organized, my files have now been ordered in separate folders according to their corresponding chapters. There is no real need for this, but it helps me to see the structure of the book and what needs to be done next. (Picking through files can be productive sometimes: I found a sketch of an article I had put aside for later.) I bought a whiteboard which has turned out to be a really useful tool for sketching out ideas quickly. It will be of great help, I’m sure. I bought a new laptop that can handle more or less anything I throw at it. My old one was disintegrating anyway, so the investment was worth it.

I have been getting bits and pieces done while commuting or in between jobs. I have worked on it at home. It would get done eventually, but it looks like I cannot finish the book in any reasonable schedule in this haphazard fashion. Some people can do it, bless them, but I get distracted very easily. I was fortunate enough to find a workspace at an office building nearby. I shall visit the place tomorrow and report back. It is wonderful to work from home, but getting up and going to your desk at work is something I find I need. I waste far too much time at home. The rent sounds reasonable enough.

Finally, there is this blog which I will use as a journal to document whatever is going on with the project. I do not expect anyone to find it riveting reading, but if someone wants to act as my superego, feel free to do so. Mostly the journal is here to make me more aware of the things I am doing in order to advance the book.

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