Just completed an excruciatingly close edit of the first 150 pages of EJTOP and sent the material to my advisor. This was a long hard slog -- four solid weeks of steady work with no travel, no appointments, no late nights, and no distractions. Apart from my weekly dinner with my parents and a couple of short meetings, I also did no socializing.

It was monastic, isolating, and extremely effective. It is very difficult to find the time to read and edit a hundred pages at a clip without devoting sustained day-after-day attention to it. I feel like my book is so much better, now that I have been able to do this for a month.

This attention was not undivided. This month was not really like the months before I finished my dissertation, when every waking thought was devoted to The Work. Instead, I stopped and started. I would wake at 7 or 7:30 and usually be at my desk and working (not surfing, not checking email) at 9. I would work until lunch. Sometimes, if I was on a roll, I would not eat lunch. I would get Jane at 2 or so, and start work again after dinner. If I wasn't at my desk, I took notes on little pieces of paper (sorry, Mark!) or directly on the manuscript. (I try to keep a printout of the latest draft handy all the time.) The lost afternoons bothered me - I usually only really start to hit my stride in the afternoon - but I found that I could work productively in the mornings as long as I'd had enough sleep the night before.

The sleep thing has been key. I'm a better, more productive person in the morning if I have gotten enough sleep. Without sleep, I'm only productive in the late afternoon. This is related to depression in some way. Now that I'm getting more sleep (and I'm more productive) I'm a lot less sad and anxious.