Sunday, August 4, 2013

Two days of writing hard and I'm still not quite there.

From August 3: Mid-afternoon and I'm writing slowly.  I've moved to the section on observations and interviews in the congregations and spent a bunch of time trying to reconcile numbers. Finally managed it to some degree.  The problem is that some individual interviews count for two roles, so do I count individuals or roles?  The answer is both--depending on which question I'm answering.  But it does make it more complicated and the question is to what degree of accuracy does it matter.  I don't really want someone questioning my numbers, so I'm spending more time than I need to on this--more time than I really think it's worth.  So be it.
At this point, I'm trying to organize my thoughts for how to proceed in explaining what I did in the congregations.  There are whole sets of interviews that I need explain my thinking on.  I need to discuss what my observations were and what I found--well, I observed in lots of different places and circumstances.  How do I summarize what I did?  And then there are different environments--each congregation was more or less helpful. So I feel like I need to explain that as well.  The question is--how much and in what order. 
This is much harder than the leadership interviews--much more diverse data over many different places. I'm feeling really uncomfortable about writing this--all the missed opportunities, all the places where I wish I'd done it better.  I hate writing this down because I'm so sure someone will take the whole thing apart because I didn't get interview x.  Or I should have had 10 observations instead of 4--never mind that 4 was sufficient to get a sense of whatever I was looking for.  In fact, 10 would have been self-indulgent. Here's the reality: it's hard to set up interviews.  The fact that I got--by myself--over 200 is damn good.  Here's another reality: observing at different places also takes time to set up.  So again, I think I did pretty well. But writing it down--all I can see are the flaws.

August 4: I kept going almost until 9 PM yesterday and made it to the end.  So I felt pretty good.  I knew that the end stuff was really just placeholder material, but that was okay--it was done.  I wrote for a pretty solid 8 hours one way or another.
Today I was sure it would be done and gone.  It's not.  I'm not terribly upset, actually.  I wrote around 7 hours today--would have done more, but I went to the National Library to work and that's a 40 minute bus-ride each way.
It was a terrific day. I realized I needed to get out the door to avoid going nuts.  National Library is open to all, so off I went. It's on the campus of Hebrew U at Givat Ram, near the Israel Museum.  Beautiful library, great working space.  I found a spot and began working though the methodology again. Took a while to get to where I left off  yesterday, but in the meantime, I caught bits of stuff I hadn't thought through and did so.  Now I'm quite happy with everything up to where I just left off--the brain, she is kaput.  It's 8 PM.  I've been working happily (minus 3 hours for bus rides and meals) since 9 AM. So it really is time to quit.  I'm finding this an incredibly useful exercise and am really glad I've done it--it's clear that a bunch of this work will inform some of the rewrites.  So very good. And I'm completely over the "ugh, I didn't do enough in the MASSIVE project" blues.
Then I came home and FINALLY made it to French Hill Falafel.  And promptly died and went to heaven.  I had the burrito version of a falafel: made with a Druze crepe/tortilla/pancake (  That's my dinner tomorrow and Tuesday.  Without question.  With great delight.  Actually, tomorrow and Tuesday are both going to be repeats of today--hey, why mess with success?

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