Book Progress Report, Week 11.5

14 Feb

I’m feeling the need for a mid-week check-in, because last week’s post proved to be terribly inaccurate. After looking back at the reader reports from my book proposal, I realized that the sample chapter I had sent in with my proposal was not the Sexuality chapter but the Identity Politics chapter. This was a really helpful revelation as it makes me less concerned that the Identity Politics chapter is totally crappy, which was how I felt when I pulled it out to think about revising it in January. The reviewers in fact thought it was good. While there may still be a lot of work to be done to make it good enough for myself, at least I don’t have to worry that “no one’s read this and so it could be utterly bullshit.” I’d like to get a feminist theorist to sign off on it (I have no idea what the backgrounds of the anonymous reviewers were), but at least some smart people said, “this is satisfactory apart from some minor details.”

But back to the Sexuality chapter. Since I thought I had comments to incorporate into it, I thought that might take a few weeks. Upon actually reading it, I doubt it will take that long. In fact, I’m really proud of it as it stands (an earlier draft of it benefitted from the very helpful comments of two other anonymous reviewers, and of Jamie Heckert who edited the special issue of Sexualities that it was first written for). This version’s major “flaw” is that it’s very theoretical and the language I use reflects that. So my worry is that it will not be accessible to people who are not accustomed to reading queer theory, and “not accessible” is not a quality I’m going for with this book. So my task is really just one of style and presentation – going through, finding the fancy spots, and supplementing (not supplanting) them with plainer language. This should be the work of a couple days, really, as I don’t think I need to do any new thinking. And so my revised goal is to have this chapter done by Friday!

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