I’m writing today and tomorrow, and that title is simply the only way to describe my current outline. Before I write a paper I always create an extensive outline to make sure that I stay on track (I have a tendency to rabbit-trail [mostly a by-product of my love for parenthetical remarks {which is probably due to my constant need to over-qualify every statement that I make (which is, I’m sure, evidence of some kind of deep-seeded psychosis or neurosis)}]). Today’s outline is officially totally and completely out of hand. It is currently 3,949 words long. The paper is supposed to be 5,000 words long. Did I mention that the outline isn’t done yet? It’s hardly 2/3 done in fact. Ya, this is gonna end well.

Update: How’s this for perverse? As I mentioned in the comments yesterday, my final outline was around 6,800 words. The final paper? 7,173 including bibliography, so really more like, 6,500 words. Ya, that’s right, the outline was longer than the paper. Well, kind of. As always you can game stats almost interminably. When you add the footnotes to the word count of the final paper it’s actually 9,600 words or so. Ya, I’ve got 3,000 words in the footnotes, got a problem with that? Also, I just want to reiterate that I love Endnotes. Without Endnotes I would have been up until 1:30am writing my bibliography, instead of just 12:30am. I can’t believe that nobody ever told me about Endnotes, or anything like it for that matter, until last year. Typing out footnotes and bibliographies is for suckers!


3 thoughts on “Ridonculous…

  1. I feel your pain. But it always works out, doesn’t it? I swear most of the paper writing experience is cutting stuff. On a related note, the longest sermons I preach are the ones I had the least time to prepare. If people want short sermons they should give me 20 hours to prepare them. But then I’d probably write a 100 page thesis until hour 19 and then start cutting down to 10. Which would probably only require that I eliminate parenthetical remarks!Anyway, I feel your pain. And I love your illustration of the parenthesis addiction.

  2. I sure hope it works out. I just finished the outline and its 6,867 words long. Now, one would imagine that this should consequently be pretty easy to write…but I think my experience suggests that this is not necessarily the case.You’re right though, most of good writing (and good preaching) is knowing what to leave on your desk.

  3. Outline? Sheesh. I wish I could be that organized. Other than the most bare idea of where I am going, I NEVER outline. I just can’t. I usually research and write stuff at the same time. Well, more precisely, I’ll research until I feel like stuff is getting all tied up. Then I’ll write stream of consciousness for a while. Then I’ll go back and try to make sense of it. Then I’ll go back and do some more research to sharpen. Then write. Then re-write. Then re-write some more. And on and on and on. It is very, very messy. It feels like shovelling snow (though sometimes the finished product suggests that perhaps a different substance would be more appropriate for the analogy!). Writing is hard work for sure. I feel your pain!

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