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First* Draft

Today, after much work I finished the first* draft of my latest publication. It’s been tough work for many factors and I have no doubt that it is not over yet. I complained a little over a month ago that normally I have been given several months to finish the first draft, with weeks in between the due dates for the re-writing phase of the process; while this time there was only a month. Not having a job for distraction has certainly aided in my being able to accomplish this task. So the time crunch factor was nullified.

One of the more difficult aspects of writing the paper was that I have been a bit out of practice. It has been a couple years since an academic paper has been my focus. Several failed submissions for abstracts only gave me practice at creating summaries for papers, I think I have a desktop folder with five of those. Luckily the subject of philosophy has not been out of my mind as those years when i have not been writing papers have been occupied by teaching.

Those teaching years are important because not only did they keep the general subject in my mind, but also due to classes such as Political Philosophy and Philosophy of religion the very matter I was writing about was also still in my head. This required of me very little in remembering what books/papers I needed since everything was within a click or file folder away.

I call this the “first* draft” because while it is the first that was due to the editors it was not the first that I had written. In actuality this is probably the fourth or fifth before the idea took enough shape to fill out the twelve page recommendation. Those previous three drafts reminded me how far out of practice I was. Ideas would start and then stall out. Sometimes the stall would occur with only two pages written, but the previous draft lasted ten pages until I realized that what I was writing could not be sustained.

What was interesting was a day I spent a little over a month ago reading a transcript from the subject matter. It took six hours and at the end I felt like I was wasting the day away. Then I realized that I was actually doing research for the paper. I wonder if that is what pop-culture majors feel when they watch movie after movie laying on the couch.

I know the thing needs a rewrite. If not for clarity but for consistency. I have a feeling that in the paper it may bounce from theme to theme. Hopefully it doesn’t do that. On the other hand I hope that it isn’t too repetitive either. After looking at it for several weeks, almost every day, things tend to escape me. I know have three to four months to write the final version at least then I won’t have to rush.

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