Curating; or, building the manuscript index

Back in early 2018, I composed a series of blog posts about getting started with turning a dissertation into a book, including researching the publishing process, targeting series, oft-circulated myths, and, in five parts, how to fund it. The, at the end of the revision process and on the cusp of drafting new content, I wrote on the strategies for revision I had found most useful, seeming an appropriate moment to reflect on what exactly the revision process looks like. Such a nuts-and-bolts queries I have found difficult to pin down from those who do have books, as well as in all the metaliterature, so decided to document them here while I take time off from my normal reviewing.

I am happy to say the draft manuscript is in for final review! In that grey time of the holidays where all I can do is wait and hope, I have a few posts to end out the year reflecting on the process driven by data I collected each step of the way. In this post, I offer a process to tackle the dreaded index, whose compiling has greatly changed in the wake of new Style tools in MS Word and Google Docs. This is something I realized you can totally do for yourself without a tremendous amount of labor or farming the task out to an inexperienced (grad) student.

It’s alive! The manuscript lives together in print for the first time. October 1, 2019.
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Litigious virtue; or, preparing the book manuscript

The two hardest parts of writing a book for me has been project design and the daily starting line.[1] The design for the book’s research question was a fraught process that took nearly two years of graduate school. It is in this aspect that I think the Sciences have a leg-up on the Humanities in that they are explicit about the intentionality of scope.[2]

But this post is not about the woes of graduate education or the difficulty of getting started. I mention these two as the most difficult because they seem unavoidable. I cultivate morning routines, budget and set aside specific times to write, and make it a priority, but its inherent difficulty always proves a psychological impediment to launch, even if a small one. No, this post is about how to do yourself favors along the way of the writing process. Or really, how to do yourself one particular kind of favor.

Buckingham Palace guards move to the forecourt every ten minutes or so to ensure they can complete their two-hour tour. London, July 2019.
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