In the past few days, I have favoured the type and edit routine more so than the read and blog path, as I have tried to make sense of my current research position. I have found that writing in a ‘literature review style’ about newer ideas I have been trying to grasp (trying to concisely place the concept album art form into both its technological and sociocultural contexts) has been a useful exercise.
My knowledge base is growing daily, and this has left my scrivener file with many ‘segments’, in which I write about various concepts and ideas that could potentially be used to bolster my arguments. I have started to use the ‘label’ function on scrivener to categorise these segments, so that I can easily identify the type of content discussed and the argument each author or article I analyse is trying to make. Work I have done based on books I have read attracts the book label, just as articles from magazines and newspapers attract their relevant label. Segments featuring quotes and references from; or passages I have written about a certain piece of work that must be integrated into my writing somewhere are labeled with an exclamation mark, so I do not ignore them and forget to include them in my work. Those authors who discuss technological aspects (Jones, Arditi, Biron, Sorger, Kibby etc) are categorised with the flat screen TV label. And my broader sociocultural and ethnographic works-in-progress simply use a picture of a man to symbolise their content. General ideas I have that can be returned to in spare time are labeled with a light bulb.
One of my primary concerns at this early stage is gauging the flow, pace and progression of my work. Since I have never written a piece of this duration before, I am finding it challenging to know how long I should spend on each topic to be addressed my thesis, and how to divide the various chapters of my thesis accordingly. I do not want the content of my thesis to feel like it drags on or misses ‘the point’ at any stage, and I certainly want to make sure every sentence and quote I use contributes to the sense and cohesion of my broader arguments.
I am certainly looking forward to meeting with my supervisor, Ed, later this week to share with him the work I have done in the past few days and also raise the concerns I have articulated here.
This coming Tuesday, the Media Objects lab will be revisiting our precursor projects from last semester and refining the contextualising statements that accompany them, with the hope of preparing them for the chance of publication in an iBook collection. I look forward to tackling this challenge on Tuesday morning and having another look at the fine work everyone did last semester in our lab.