Unreasonable Summer Goals, 2009 edition

I’m packed for ICA, which will be my last academic travel until maybe November. The comparatively long stretch at home has been a long time coming and I’ve had to turn down a few very tempting offers to make it happen.

Over the past year and a bit, my sarcastic “world tour” link turned out to be kind of true: I have had 3 “tours” that lasted 3 weeks or more: Europe in April 2008, Australia in August 2008, and New York-California-Cambridge in Feb-March 2009, with a whole pile of stops inbetween. I think I made 7 trips in winter 2009 alone, not counting my two May trips (Washington last week and Chicago tomorrow). And I ran the department.

But after workshopping pieces of the book and getting lots of useful feedback (including a smackdown or two, which is unusual but appreciated) it is time to settle in and get it done. And once it is off my desk, I have a pile of other projects waiting for me, including the long-delayed Sound Studies reader (still under contract with a very patient Routledge) and a pile of articles which is too scary to name here. Not to mention the two currently under review that will no doubt come back with lots of required revisions, if they are even accepted.

With about 20-30 pages of a chapter to finish plus conclusion cleaning and a bunch of finessing throughout, I am now aiming for an end-of-June finish to the draft. I am declaring it here to make it like a real deadline that I might even push myself to make, even though reviewers aren’t known for reading tons of manuscripts in July. It’s just a date. Of course as the whole thing has come into view I have a perverse urge to rewrite the entire front end (after all, the intro and first chapter are probably the most important parts of a book in terms of what people read), but first I will stop and get some feedback on the full manuscript.

But I have some other goals for the summer: I want to enjoy being here, spend lots of time with friends, get some regular exercise, take weekends off from all work (with an exception for writing if I am motivated, since writing makes me happy) and take better advantage of Montreal’s general awesomeness. And there are a few things around the house (both literally and metaphorically) to tend to. And hey, the design of sterneworks is starting to look dated. . . .