It’s almost a mantra for me: don’t reinvent the wheel. I learned this lesson while writing my dissertation, mostly because I had a dissertation supervisor who taught me how to organize and apply method to my normally stream-of-consciousness/intuitive approach to writing. While my old approach works (mostly) when I’m writing (non-scholarly) essays or fiction, it’s hopelessly slow when I’m on deadline to finish an essay for publication. Can you tell I’m in that situation again?
What is inevitable – for me, since everything I do seems to interconnect – is that this lesson applies to the conference paper I’m presenting this fall at the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. Aside: it’s really, really nice to not have to fly to my conference this year. My Belfast paper broke the budget and I had to back out of a paper that I would very much have liked to have given, this morning!, in Quebec City. Sigh. I’ll get to that conference, and Quebec!, another time…
So, back to the lesson of the week, and the not reinventing the wheel. Yesterday I finished outlining the article I’m writing. My own personal deadline is to have a finished draft by the end of the month, which is quite reasonable as long as I stay on track with my writing schedule. Like always, I seem to find connections to areas of research that are new (to me) and that require I do some reading. Such a tragedy, me having to read. I think this is why I do this; it’s a chance to keep learning new things and keep my toes in a sort of “student” mode! Right now I’m exploring the area of overlap between my own work and political internet studies, and so far, I’m happy to say, I have kept the beast of wheel reinvention in check.
I think I’m going to end up talking about this in November, too.