‘Membering; or, strategies for book revisions

Back in early 2018, I composed a series of blog posts about researching the publishing process, targeting series, oft-circulated myths, and, in five parts, how to fund it. I am now two-thirds through my own revision process before final submission, having just finished those elements for which content existed. The introduction and afterword remain. It seemed an appropriate moment to reflect on what exactly the revision process looks like—a nuts-and-bolts query I have found it difficult to pin down those who do have books about.

In the vein of my previous reflection on the first-book process, in this post I write on the tactics that have made up my repertoire of revising my thesis into a book: to collate, section, and cut-and-paste; to polish page-by-page; to rely on surefooted tools Scrivener and Zotero; and to track. Of course everyone’s processes are different, and different kinds of projects also necessitate unique approaches.

For me, in the heat of it, revising is an act of dismembering and remembering.

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Programme du bal: 2019 SAA

I am unashamed to say that my annual Eastertide pilgrimage to the meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America is one of the intellectual highlights of my year. It comes at a time in the term when I am hungry for an injection of intellectual engagement and friendship. One of the great gifts of my profession, for me at the least and despite all of its failings, is that of lifelong friendship. In the age of near-instant regular communication across the globe, that gratitude is two-fold.

From the Archaearium exhibit at Historic Jamestowne on the First Nations encountered by the English in the early seventeenth century in Virginia. #HonorNativeLand

Aside from the fact that I will stretching my current research agenda in new DH directions with the “Shakespeare at Scale” seminar (see our abstracts here), I am especially excited this year to be a part of the inaugural peer mentor initiative #SAAllies. I can remember my first SAA in Boston, feeling both so excited but so awkward in not knowing the dance moves. Older students in my PhD program swept me up and let me tag along without making me feel small or juvenile.

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