AcWriMo Reflection 15 and 16

Between galas and snow days and the rest of life these reflection, I keep doing two-a-day. Which is fine; there’s not wrong way to do reflecting!

Today’s (ok, yesterday’s) prompt is really timely, as I got feedback from a good friend yesterday about my manuscript. Word of advice: if you have a friend who is an anthropologist, have them read your narrative. They live in stories, and they just get it. So, thanks Donna!

So, scaffolding. As you know if you have been reading these post (which, really, all two of you, hi, love you), this has been the biggest challenge for me. While I had the lightbulb moment of my six framing titles, within the sections themselves, there’s little holding the pieces together other than the theme. Plus, I didn’t understand the reader report telling me there wasn’t enough “me” in the piece.

So, as much as I resisted it, I have to go with a chronological account, based on the themes. But also, what was pointed out to me is that there isn’t as much “me” in the text because I do that academic thing where I have to quote other people to make sure that I am taken seriously, rather than letting my story speak for itself.

I can’t believe I have to say this, but I have to put myself more front and center.

So, thematic chronology. Awesome. I have set a goal for myself to write a new outline of each section, without worrying about what came before in the manuscript. I can make it work.

I’ve been avoiding actually working on the manuscript, so now I have some really clear direction. Thanksgiving “break” – here I come!

Reflection 16 is about definitions. Since this is a less academic project, there aren’t really very many terms that I need to define. OK, that’s not true, I have to define Bad Female Academic. And maybe I need to make the line clearer between the definition and the narrative. Because many of the essays weren’t originally or explicitly a part of the “official” BFA series. But they relate insofar as they are a part of the narrative of all the ways I was (still am) a Bad Female Academic.

I also needed in the last revision some definitions or explanations of certain aspects of academia that aren’t obvious to outside readers. That was a good experience for me, a good project to engage in. I was in fact taking a lot for granted with my readers. I never expected anyone outside of the academy to be interested in the book.

Wouldn’t it be nice, I was asked, if a young woman grad student could give this book to her parents and say, this is what it’s like for me?

So I think it’s time to outline this thing. Keep it coming.

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