Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Brief moments of terror

Sometimes I think about the fact that I’m going to write a book, a new book, not a revision of the dissertation, and I think I’m insane. I think about the monumentality of the dissertation, and think, my god...I am supposed to do that again?? Only better/more learned/more mature/smarter this time?? When I’m working full-time? It gives me cold sweats. Sigh – if only I had thought about my dissertation as a book...

Anyway, R is coming tomorrow morning – until Monday night. Woohoo! It will be a mini-vacation. We are even going for two nights to a gorgeous place, where we have rented a cottage. Here is a picture I took of the area when I was there on a day trip in late October:


10 comments:

kermitthefrog said...

Wow, that looks gorgeous!

heu mihi said...

Beautiful! Somehow that view (in my mind, at least) puts the monumentality of a new project into perspective. At least, I hope that it has that effect when you're there!

Dr. Crazy said...

Alright: as somebody who turned her dissertation into a book, I can tell you this: the book isn't better, more learned, smarter. It is more mature, but only because it thinks about audience more and is more about the broad strokes. It's * a better read *. And you know what it also is? More accessible. It's more about communicating and participating in a conversation, and less about proving that one is worthy to be in the club. So you're not insane. And this is not something that is beyond you. If you've not checked it out, you should take a look at Germano's "Getting it Published." It was, by far, the most helpful book I read during the process of putting my book manuscript together.

And that picture is AMAZING!

Psychgrad said...

I think it would be hard to relate to someone who was writing a book that didn't feel some level of stress about it.

Your trip to the cabin sounds awesome. I could handle spending time at a cabin in an area not surrounded by snow.

Hilaire said...

Crazy - Yes, okay, that totally makes sense. And the thing is, I can see it being more mature in the sense of coherence, too. When I wrote up an external grant proposal about it in the fall, I was like, "that should have been my dissertation!" Tightly focused instead of insanely over-reaching, which is what my dissertation did (which makes it untenable as a book). I guess that is a measure of what I have learned since the, a measure of the maturity - that I can make that distinction. And I find it makes such a difference to think, "I'm writing a book." It automatically becomes a less diffuse and unwieldy project.

I've read Getting it Published, but that was about 2 years ago, in the six months following my dissertation defense, when I wasn't sure if I might want to publish it. I need to reread it now with my new project in mind, for sure.

Heu - Yes, that's an interesting observation, about how the landscape of the coming weekend might lend itself to thinking positively about the book-work. It reminds me, I guess, of some landscapes that seem somehow both intellectual and creative.

You know what, too? If I could tell you what kind of business the cottage is attached to, its fabulosity would become even more apparent. (But if I tell you, it will immediately become clear where I am...Just know that there is goodness all around...:) )

Thoroughly Educated said...

Oh oh oh! Mysterious cottage of fabulosity in gorgeous landscape! Sounds like a perfect getaway.

I am blogging book angst at my place, in, I must say, a completely nonproductive way. Thing is, I know I should feel more mature in my approach to this project, but I feel less so. I feel like I've regressed to the dissertation phase. It is somewhat cheering to be reminded that this should be more focused than the diss, but when I hear "focused" I think "blessedly short" and then I have another panic about never being able to write anything as long as what normal people write.

Maude Lebowski said...

oh god that looks gorgeous! the most exciting place i get to go in a couple of weeks is St. Louis for the College English Association conference.

i hate St. Louis.

Hilaire said...

TE - I have been reading your posts on book writing with great interest...we are definitely in a similar boat. I totally worry about lenght, too! I'm constantly calculating and re-calculating potential pages! Sigh.

Maude - Yeah, I gotta say, I'm happy I'm going here and not St. Louis! :)

medieval woman said...

Yay for a wonderful time away!!

Your book will be awesome - of that I'm sure...

Hilaire said...

Thanks so muxh, MW - Reply email to come as soon as R's left!