Saturday, July 01, 2006

Since I'm on the quarter system, I've only been done with school about three weeks, but this summer is already much, much, much better than last summer, for two reasons:

1. I am not just about to go on leave without a book project nailed down, which means staring down months and months of unstructured time just waiting to be wasted. Instead I started the summer already pretty deep in a chapter, and while the end isn't in sight--I'm stuck in the middle, halfway through a thought, but if I can dig my way through to the other end of the thought, the second half of the chapter is mostly written and just waiting for some close readings to substantiate a whole lot of suppositions. But I'm neither finishing the middle thought nor fleshing out the final ones right now because I stumbled on an amazing call for papers last week--a whole journal issue devoted to a topic I write and teach about all the time. And what thrills me most about this is that

2. It has a due date. August 1st. That's soon, but this is my area. I know this stuff. I sat down and wrote six pages off the top of my head almost as soon as I saw the cfp, and so I think I can do this. It's for a pretty fancy journal, so there's a huge chance this won't get published there, but I want to give it a shot, and if they don't want it, I'll try some other places because, writing this, I realize that I really need to write this essay, regardless of whether it ends up in fancy journal or not. It's something I've needed to think through and take a strong position on for a long time. The deadline makes me feel giddy, because it means I'll have August to not hate myself for not finishing the stuck chapter. So here's to incentive.

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