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And so I sit here, in my work chair in front of my beloved MacG laptop (the heavenly voice of Patrick J Adams coming from the television soothing my tired brain cells), wondering how I managed to finish my Harry Potter conference paper without much drama.

I thank the writing gods for my sentence and paragraph outlines.

While doing outlines is pretty standard for any writer (I think. It should!), I recall my English 101 professor (whose name I would rather not mention here for she flunked 2/3 of my class, oh dear Godric. We all hated her, truth be told) when she taught us the value of making sentence and paragraph outlines over word outlines. While it is, at first blush, more difficult to write sentence and paragraph outlines during the initial stage of preparation, it does make the writing task easier in the long run.

I remember doing the outline last year, a few months after my abstract was accepted for the Scotland conference. It took me several weeks to conceptualize, just to conceptualize the entire outline, and the writing of it took several more weeks, not to mention the polishing and the revisions which went on until early this year. But the moment I started writing the first draft of the paper, I realized how thinking of the first word that will be the foundation of the entire thing was more difficult (and it took longer, mind) than writing the whole conference paper. Once the first word was out, the first sentence came through. And once the first sentence made it on paper, the first paragraph came tumbling along, straight from the pages of my carefully prepared outline.  It was simply a matter of copy-pasting all the things I’ve already written months ago, thinking of connecting phrases, using examples to buffer my argument, and citing relevant passages from my reference materials.

And now I find myself with 11 pages, single-spaced worth of paper, way too long for the expected 20 minute required presentation (FYI, one page, double-spaced letter size paper reads about 2 mins and a half).  I’ve already managed to cut out one full page from the draft. I need to cut at least 1 more page. 2 pages should be ideal, but I know it will be deathly difficult.

If writing is hell, then revising is having a barbecue with the Devil himself.

Ah, the editing part.  Whether it be film or literature or conference paper, editing is always the bloody part. Some would even say it’s more difficult than the writing process.  I mean, how do you remove those words, those sentences you’ve worked so hard to pen? A stake through my scholarly heart, that’s what it is.

I don’t know how I will manage to cut 2 pages worth from my draft. Just thinking about revising it is making my head ache.

But the Fates’ will will be done.  I am certain I will prevail over this revision debacle. But not today, for today I need to rest. I need to reclaim my energy. It’s gone off somewhere, gallivanting without me. How rude, my energy is, I tell you.

oh hello, Mr. Ross. It’s me, Frankie! Wanna read together?

So now, leave me be as I continue to daydream about Mr. Adams, a.k.a. Mr. Mike Ross.  He is the reading meister , yes, a guy blessed with photographic memory. But I’m a writing mistress. I submit to writing and writing submits to me. We are at each other’s mercy. It’s a nice even match with Mr. Ross’ skils, don’t you think?