Saturday, April 13, 2013

Work-In-Progress: March

Research is delicious. 

I'm a bit late with my March update. I wish I could say it's because I was busy making tons of progress on my book, but alas: it's the last month of the semester, and I have no time for anything outside of survival. Still, March wasn't a total wash. I made some important steps in the direction of a finished draft, even if those steps do not translate directly to word count. 

My goal for last month, you may recall, was to finish a rough outline for the book, to write ~25 more pages, and to meet with my thesis advisor to discuss what I've got and where to go. Two of these things were completed. I finished the outline and felt great about it - even better after my advisor looked it over and said it was "an excellent use of my time" and that it "feels like a real book." He seems to think I am capable of actually writing this thing, which is a lovely feeling. ("What would you have done if I hadn't liked the outline?" he asked. "Written it anyway, I hope?" "No," I said. "I probably would have cried and started over." Sad, but true.) 

I did not write anywhere close to 25 more pages, though I did rewrite chapter one and officially submit my thesis proposal. I also found out, earlier this week, that my thesis advisor just received a Fulbright and will spend all of next year abroad. Great for him, not so great for my thesis. I'll have to be reassigned to a new advisor, which is... not ideal... but should be fine. I like all the professors in my department, and it would be an honor to work with any of them. It's just the up-in-the-air aspect of everything that makes me feel uneasy. I guess this is an exercise in trust and letting go, or something. I am doing my best to be graceful about it.  

As for April and on: I'd like to write a chapter a week, now that I've banged out a very thorough outline and know pretty much what will happen over the course of the book. I stole some time from my schoolwork and students to get a little done this morning while thunderstorms raged outside my bedroom window. I made it halfway through chapter two, so that's something. The real work will begin in May, when I will try to write at least 1,000 words a day. Until then, I'll take what I can get, and keep my on the prize - that is, the end of the semester, and the beginning of my literary marathon.