Today I’m making a last dash to finish this essay. Why is it taking so long? Well, partly it’s the need to get client work done first, and volunteer work with its deadlines, partly it’s pure procrastination. And it’s a complex thing I’ve taken on. I spent most of late yesterday afternoon and evening redrawing diagrams with my shiny new flowcharting software, and checking their accuracy.
Today I’m taking the day off from work and I’m determined to finish it, or as near as dammit. This means I have to:
- finish writing the part of the essay that explains what use the Colonial Office records are to family historians DONE
- finish writing the part of the essay that explains the document-handling process at the Colonial Office (backed up by the diagrams) DONE, with extra diagram drawn
- finish writing the part of the essay that explains how to find a document in the Colonial Office records filmed by the AJCP – nearly DONE (I may cut most of it out)
- finish the diagrams to explain the process of handling correspondence at the Colonial Office and how all the classes of documents fit together – DONE
- create a cutdown version of my spreadsheet to use as another appendix – nearly DONE
- write a synopsis – STARTED
- check all the citations – STARTED
- reformat to conform to the style-sheet (double-spacing and all that)
- general tidy-up (incorporating editing down to the maximum number of words allowed) – STARTED
Hmmm. I’d better get on with it then!
[12:53 pm] My 4000-word essay is currently 6024 words and counting, not including footnotes and bibliograpy. Something’s got to go!
[4:04 pm] I’ve started update my list (above) when items are completed. It gives me encouragement to know that I am getting somewhere!
[10:50 pm] still going. I took out the comprehensive overview bit and so removed a thousand words on records that are actually not that much use to family historians. A painful process it was, too!
I think this progressive update thing works. Today is my biggest challenge yet:
- I have a blocked-up headache and a sore back
- My cat, Zac, came home yesterday from the vet after a knee reconstruction, and is following me around and moaning at me.
- I need to get some client reports done but can’t get into it
- I could work on my Diploma essay – that seems more feasible given challenges 1 & 2.
I’ve resorted to working at the dining table so he (the cat) can see me wherever he is. The stairs are blocked so he can’t fall down them. He really wants to be outside, and we tried that because I thought he’d need to do what a cat needs to do, but he just wanted to sit and look around. Either that or asleep on my lap will do.
I’ve organised my work in the city for tomorrow. So that’s one for me!
Zac has found the sunny spot in the spare bedroom, so there’s hope for me yet!
[hours later] I did manage to work out the final structure of the essay and fix som citations, but not much else.
I also visited my sister’s place and talked to two of my nieces. Wonderful girls, both of them!
I seem to have gotten stalled today after my internet connection went down, and now that it’s fixed I can’t seem to get back on track so I’m trying something new – a progressive update.
I don’t know if it will work, but I’m willing to try it.
I have the land research results of three clients to sort out and write reports or varying comprehensiveness:
1. Images I took of Conditional Purchase correspondence for two clients taken on the same day need to be separated and processed. I did the separation yesterday (on the train!) and the images for client one are ready to be written to a CD and mailed, which is all she requires.
2. The images for Client 2 (and these numbers have no particular significance) must be sorted into separate folders for the specific portion of land referred to and written up in the report that I started last week.
3. The searches of the purchasers indexes at the Lands Department for the stepfather for Client 3 have to be consolidated in a single spreadsheet and analysed to determine which should be followed up to answer the initial question “what happened to the mother’s land after the father died?” The spreadsheet was done, or mostly done, before I got sick again last week, so there is just the analysis to do, I hope. Then I’ll write to the client to see what she wants to do next.
So, on to task 2….
[5 hours later]
I did task 3, and it took me over 3 hours. I didn’t find anything in common between the two lists, which is not surprising. I mapped the portions on Google Maps and saved it as a Map for the client. It’s so helpful to be able to mark them all out together. NSW parish maps are available on line, and Google Maps has the portion boundaries marked, so it’s actually a lot of fun!
Coming back to this post has reminded me about task 2, so I’ll do that now…
[nearly bedtime] I’m writing up some research in the report for Client 2 but haven’t sorted the images yet…
[a bit later] Images mostly sorted, going to bed. A good day after all!