Write ON: Week 4 Goals
Write ON: Week 4 Goals

Write ON: Week 4 Goals

Day 1—Monday

I spent most of yesterday working my way through a series of Latin primary sources and journal articles published by some nineteenth-century French antiquarian societies, and when I surfaced late last night I felt more than a little befuddled (and not sure which language I should be speaking). Normally the trusty exhortation above my desk (see picture left; the smaller ones below it are of my adorable niece, the great door of the cathedral of Laon, and a lane near my family’s home in Laois) is enough to get me back to work, but I realised that the befuddlement also extended to that perpetually irksome question of What to Tackle Next?

Which made me think that I probably need some time to take stock of what I have done so far, and so today I’m going to sit down with a print-out of what I’ve written so far, read it through from beginning to end, and see what the structure is like. I have a suspicion that the first chapter is okay but that it all goes a bit wonky from there.

Session goal: Be ruthless with this green marker pen. I was pretty ruthless with the marker! I think I have a better sense now of how to rearrange the second chapter (I was right, it was very wonky, and I even found an instance where the middle of one paragraph had nothing to do with either the beginning or end of the paragraph), and know that I must now ask the question of what exactly the fifth chapter is for. (I wrote that question in very large capitals across the page; hopefully that will stimulate an answer.)


Day 2—Wednesday

I spent yesterday doing structural edits until I hit that inevitable point of not being able to see the woods for the trees—in other words, knowing that things were wrong but not quite being able to see what those things were. Or, more importantly, how to fix them. So I’ve sent what I have off to a trusted friend to read over, and this morning I’m going to tackle some other things.

  • Finish reading through/marking up the obituary of Bonne-Espérance for evidence of female donors/commemoration of holy women.
  • Start going through and translating the medieval ordinary of Prémontré, inspired by something I read yesterday on spatial theory Made it through the introduction, have identified the section of the liturgy I need to translate in full.
  • Work through Gallia Christiana IX.

Now, off to the library to scan the relevant sections of the Bonne-Espérance obituary (so many beguines!).


Day 3—Friday

My cable decided to go out on Wednesday afternoon, which means no TV and more importantly for dissertation work, no internet. I hadn’t realised how much I relied on being able to search for obscure words online while translating something! That put rather a spanner in the works of my plans for much of Wednesday and Thursday, not to mention time spent dealing with arranging for a tech to come out and look at things. I did work through some secondary literature I’d been meaning to get to for a while, however, plus bake, go for a run and make it through sizeable chunks of two different books, so a forcible absence from the internet wasn’t necessarily entirely a bad thing.

Today’s to-do list:

  • ILL requests for the new references I came across yesterday.
  • Figure out how to incorporate the references from yesterday’s reading into currently drafted chapters.
  • Begin translating the relevant sections of the Prémontré ordinary. Half-way there! I know what I’ll be working on this afternoon, I suppose.


End-of-week Total: 0 words added to the dissertation, but lots of work done around the edges.

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