Writing during the sabbatical

I may not have mentioned that I had a sabbatical this semester to write a book. It has been productive time. Of a projected six-chapter manuscript, I have drafted four chapters and about half of a fifth since late August.

It is a more complex and ambitious work than my old dissertation and will probably be well north of 100k words when finished. I am pretty sure, given my current speed, that it will be complete by May.

It has been enjoyable to concentrate mostly on reading and writing, if only for a brief time. I have also had time to push various articles near completion out, which doesn’t hurt either.

The only completely frustrating side effect has been all the ideas. I have generated enough ideas this semester for at least a decade of research. This means difficult decisions ahead as to what to work on next. Given the book will not be finished by Xmas, I can afford to introduce at most two side projects (articles) in the spring. They will not slow down the book at all – they will rather speed it along as they will serve as an outlet and break during the brief moments of block that I sometimes encounter. But it is very frustrating all the same to sit on projects that could be written in a month, had I actually a spare month for them. The edits and endnotes for the book alone will take two months, minimum.

I guess this all beats sitting around with no ideas, though.

Sometime later this month I will submit my 7th article in the last 12 months, a personal record. A lot of work, but the results have been slow coming. One acceptance and one collection chapter waiting on publisher review are the only good news. Another is still out, another is at its 2nd journal, yet another was rejected harshly but I am carefully working its thesis into one of the book’s chapters, and another was rejected 4 times, which means it goes into the cornfield until further notice. The last one is yet to be sent.

Still, work is its own reward, right? Ugh.