Writing-Sabbatical Update #2


My study for week #2.

This past week I made good progress towards my goal of writing four chapters for my dissertation this month. I’m not sure if my strategy is the best – And I’m not sure I want you to tell me if you think otherwise – but the goal is to get the basic contours of the project done, write as much as I can and need to, and then spend time shaping and carving the project down into a more concise and final version. So far, in two weeks I’ve written 130 pages or so and two chapters. I am sure that not all of it will go into the final version, or that it’s even all good stuff, but I feel like what I have to work with is moving me forward.

Last week’s task was a lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed writing about “participatory culture,” (Henry Jenkins)[http://henryjenkins.org] and (fandom)[https://www.gatheringinlight.com/2009/03/10/fan-culture-and-virtual-communities/], and what I see as the core elements to that culture. This is the stuff I have been sharing in various Quaker contexts, including my (Quaker Heritage Day)[https://www.gatheringinlight.com/2011/03/04/remix-culture-and-the-church/] talk, this is the stuff that I get really excited about. So, as you can imagine, I had a lot of fun writing last week. I’m more worried about the coming week.

This next week I face a more difficult task as I work to bring together the three main threads of my project into a cohesive model. This has been piece that has eluded me since I have begun my PhD, it’s the piece that if I am able to incorporate my three main theories together, I will truly have created something unique within my particular field of studies. And this, as my advisor has reminded me, is why I am finding it so difficult to do. This week I don’t need 40 hours of hard-core writing, I need some quiet time, some time of prayer, some insight and direction from Jesus – and yes, a lot of writing too. I’m not sure who better to help, and I’m not really sure who else is capable of it. I’ve racked my brain trying to figure how the puzzle fits together. I am convinced it does, but I’ve never really poured myself into answering the question it poses me.

This coming week is that time.