I was happy to print out the first draft of Normal Water on Wednesday. It’s not too far off the mark – 72 000 words or thereabouts – so editing it into shape over the next while should be mostly about concepts and arguments, not about slashing and burning.
I took the day yesterday to spend time at Walden Pond, where Thoreau did a good deal of thinking and writing. It was very nice, and a good mental marker between stages of the book project itself.
The writing portion of the book went surprisingly well in almost every stage. I researched and wrote it in 22 months using a fairly formulaic writing routine during the drafts for each chapter: Once I had a chapter’s argument sketched out (and wasn’t writing some other paper for a journal or conference) I would write around 500 well crafted words each day with all of the citation information being compiled alongside it. This usually took me a couple of hours, which left me enough time in the day for thinking through how the chapter was coming together, reading, other work and so on.
Here’s a picture from Walden Pond yesterday…