Revising as process

Over the course of the semester, I will be revising one of my papers for publication.  I am at once nervous and excited about the class.  On the one hand, I am also studying for exams, taking two other classes, and working with our graduate student organization.  On the other hand, I will get an opportunity to revisit a paper that I have been working on for the past year that I think has a lot of promise.

After rereading my paper (and doing some initial cuts), it is about one-third the length it will need to be before it can be published.  Perhaps even one-quarter the length.  I have signalled out sections that will be delegated to footnotes and marked areas of improvement.  The paper is a mess, to say the least.

But even though on the surface it looks like an academic graveyard, I am still proud of it.  It is probably the best thing I have ever written (or at least the best idea I’ve ever had).  I didn’t know if I would feel this way when I finished the proto-draft of it this past May.  At that point, I was so sick of looking at it and thinking about the project that I wanted to rip it in half and never see it again.  I’m glad that I didn’t do that.  A summer of forgetting about it makes me appreciate the work that has gone into it thus far.  And the research and revision timeline I completed for class makes me appreciate the work that is still to be done.

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