Writing update: first draft of Normal Water now complete

IMG_1017I 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…



  1. So looking forward to the finished product, Jeremy. In case I haven’t told you, as a member of a tribe known as the Water Carriers (Waitaha), I so enjoy and appreciate your blog. It’s inevitably one of the highlights of my day when I read it. Thanks for all that you share, including your organized approach to your work, and congratulations on that first draft.

  2. Hi Makere, thanks so much! It is great to hear from you and I hope to be out in Edmonton in early 2015 for some research, hopefully we can connect then in person!

  3. Congratulations JEREMY!
    The book looks very interesting, and also impressive your ability sit down and write.
    When the book will be published?
    This is also the opportunity to note that I really like your website and the materials you upload to it. Very interesting.
    Liron shani

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