Gunlord’s Dissertation Saga, Episode 28 (Season 2): Editor’s block?

First, I’ll cut right to the chase and tell y’all what you’ve been waiting for: How did my holidays go?


Honestly, not much happened. My friend Starseeker got me the new Age of Empires expansion on Steam, but that was pretty much it. My mom went on a trip, so she just left me some money as a Christmas present, and me and dad just had a christmas dinner together. That’s it :p

As for my dissertation…some progress, but not much. Here’s what I wrote to mah dissertation advisors:

“Dear All,

Happy holidays! I hope the season has been treating you well. I wanted to give an update on how my dissertation is coming along.

I must be honest, I haven’t managed to get as much work done on the second draft this month as I would have liked, partially due to reorganizational matters being a little tougher than I expected.

For my introduction, that wasn’t too hard. I elected to cut out some of the things Dr. H said weren’t directly related to my thesis (such as the historiographical background (for a general work it might be necessary, but since you all read my prospectus you’re already familiar with it!) and the chapter outline (I might add that back, if at all, after I’ve polished up the actual chapters more), and other things I thought I might move to later chapters: I thought the biographical segments might be better in chapter 3, due to the way I’ve planned to reorganize it, and I also thought my defining of terms would be better placed in chapter 1, where they’re most immediately relevant, particularly in regards to the subheadings.

About those, though, I found myself slowing down when it came to actually reorganizing the chapter, which I thought would be quick. I found it harder to decide what to keep, what to remove, and what to move around–for instance, I spent some time pondering whether or not to keep one section in chapter 1 or move it over to chapter 2. I also thought of some ideas to add to chapter 1, like a couple new paragraphs on control, since Dr. H complimented that part of the chapter and I thought I could expand on it. I also thought some of the reading I did and some new things I found out required some expanded treatment of its own, so overall chapter 1 has grown a little bit, not just been reorganized, and that took a little time.

With that experience, however, I think the next chapters should be easier, and I still think I can get the second draft to you by January 22. Maybe by the 29th at the latest. Before I get back to work, though, just a quick question: Do you think Dr. H’s suggestions of adding subheadings would also be useful for the other chapters? Even though I’m concentrating on Chapter 1 right now, I’ve given some thought to chapter 3, which needed the most work, and I was thinking of adding subheadings to it in the course of polishing it up. Should I put them in chapter 2 and the Epilogue as well?”


So yeah, I think I may have encountered a case of “editor’s block” rather than writer’s block! Reorganizing, and even adding more stuff, can be a touchy matter. But I think it’ll get easier the more I do it, which is why I’m not too discouraged. On to next week!


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