16 July 2010

Scrubbing Speed

Slowing down, in other words.

I just realized that the title of this post might sound vaguely drug oriented or, at best, very Cinderella-esque. Here's what I mean: when you descend quickly on a bike, you sometimes have scrub off some speed before you go into a tight turn, particularly when there's no berm to keep you moving forward. Scrubbing isn't exactly braking. It's a way of slowing down the bike without applying direct braking alone. I guess we can think about scrubbing as indirect braking: dragging a rear tire sideways, for example, while also lightly braking to thus slow down just enough to get into that turn in front of you. I think. At least, that's how I understand it.

Technical details aside, I've realized that I blog when I need to scrub off some speed: throw off some energy to get through to the next climb and descent. And although I'm no fan of blogging two days in a row, I looked forward all day to making a little post with no predetermined topic and essentially no point other than to bring me happiness. Blogs are inherently self-serving. They don't have to be, I guess, but mine is, for now at least.

I finished chapter 6 today. It was--by FAR--the toughest yet, not in scope or content, but in the sheer perceived effort it took me to sit down and write it. The first few fell like rain. This one? More like a dentist appointment. I should expect this drag and be grateful that it showed up this late in the game. I've also considered this week as scrubbing off some speed for the next turn: two intro/reflexivity chapters and two implications/wrap-up chapters. I have a feeling these four will be the toughest not only because my writing time will share space with fall-class-planning time but because I'm also tired. I'm obviously not tired of writing, since I keep up with this blog fairly well, but I am tired of the push push push to reach the page limit. Wait wait wait What?

Here's an unsolicited peek inside my writing process: I'm a wreck until I meet the page requirement. After that, some kind of loosening happens, and I relax. Dumb, huh? But it's true. By getting the bulk of the work in front of me, I'm better able to work consistently, finish strongly, and feel good about my work. So I'm about, I'd say, 30 pages short of that goal. Next week will get me closer, though I'll be reading as much as I'm writing. I anticipate having a full draft due by mid-to-late August. Then, revisions. And since I'm a crap first-drafter, the revisions will take awhile. I'm still shooting for a late September/early October finish draft date, though.

You can send care packages directly to my little house.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

Blogs ARE self-serving...I know mine is. But I like your metaphor. It helps to know you can just ramble about what's on your mind and blow off that nervous energy.