Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Friday, January 16, 2015

CH 1 of #DevilDiss

I felt really bad most of Christmas break because I did not feel as though I was making enough progress on the dissertation. While I read addition books for comp, and made comp review flash cards over break, none of these tasks felt as concrete as adding pages to the dissertation, although I realize those are important parts of the process.
As I sat down this morning to read, revise, and make additions, I realized how helpful these two months away from the actual writing of the dissertation have been. The time allowed me some much needed distance which I realized today allowed me to revise in a better place.

I keep page counts above my desk and the last time I logged a #DevilDiss page count was 14 November. But I more than made up for it today, revising and adding notes to twenty-seven pages. The next week I have one goal: finish revising/adding notes to CH 1 and 2 of the dissertation. Today I spent all day ploughing through CH 1, and CH 2 will get finished next week.
This is what CH 1 which focuses on the physical description markers of the devil from medieval to early modern period.
Since I am all about the process, here's what I did.
  • Blue was the color for this round, so both Post-Its and pen color were blue. It may seem silly but this allows me at a glance to look at what stage the draft is. I wrote notes/additions/revisions on the draft. Big blue Post-Its were for longer notes or notes/insertions that needed more space.
  • I used the legal Post-It flags for signature to mark where I needed to still insert outside scholarship. Blue means I have the scholarship (in book or printed out article) and just need to add. Yellow means I have a scholarship gap and need to find something.
Somehow seeing it all laid out like this, it seems like a real thing. As though the further I get in the process the more I can actually "see" this as a book.
I'm using manuscript images as placemarkers for my different sections. I keep going back and forth on whether or not I want to keep these in the actual dissertation/book. For now though they are handy for me keeping my place in the work and I think are helpful touchstones for making sure the work stays focused.
Once I finish the notes on CH 2 the next milepost is to take all these notes and type them up, adding in the research I marked as missing. Then CH 1 and 2 will go to the copyeditor, I'm hoping before the end of January.
The prospectus is just awaiting one last revision which I'm meeting next week with my director about and can easily revise that in February as I don't have any dissertation writing scheduled in February except expanding my ACMRS conference paper into CH 2B and sending THAT to the copyeditor.
Once I've gotten the edits back from the copyeditor which I'm hoping will happen by the end of February I will make those revisions and then send CH 1, 2, 2B to my committee.
That means March can focus on the dissertation prospectus defense. Then writing CH 3 which focuses on how Milton uses all of this in Paradise Lost. I'm writing that in a class with my dissertation director, so I feel goo about that. And the introductions to CH 1 and 2 which deal with the Anglo-Saxon texts I'm also writing in a class (my seminar) this semester, so I feel good about that.

End goal this semester is complete CH 1, 2, 2B, and 3 to committee to get back with feedback before summer so I can spend the summer working on revisions and the introductory and concluding chapters. That way I can get second drafts to my committee in August, and hopefully final revisions by the end of fall semester to defend the whole thing in January.

So today was a good day. Lots of forward motion.

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