Looking back at September 2017, time seems to have stood still for Invisibilia. Time to adjust the schedule and find out if I will be able to catch up.
September had thirty days, out of which there were twentyone working days. Well, not this month: I caught a nasty cold, so I couldn’t work for a full week. I had obviously passed it on to my daughter, which led to two more days that I couldn’t use on Invisibilia. Fourteen days left – in which I did a lot of administrative stuff, worked on “Book 2”, wrote blog posts, did some background reading, moved to a new office, and went to Danish classes. All of these things are important, but they don’t neccessarily mean any measurable progress. And I somehow didn’t feel I had accomplished much.
Halfway through September, I suddenly realised I hadn’t actually looked at a manuscript for three weeks! Transcription-wise, I had finished all manuscripts that were feasible from the digitisation. There are only a few left, which I have to see in person, because the text isn’t legible online. So time has come to go and work on the photo collection. As with the digitised manuscripts, I decided to first examine a selection of items before going into detail for the transcription – basically the way I did with the digitisations. It turned out that black and white photos are actually so much better to work with! Somehow marginalia and pen-trials become much more evident, and the lack of colour also helps me focus better. In other words: I get more done and don’t feel as exhausted afterwards.
So what was September 2017 like? Initially, I had fallen behind schedule. With the new task of investigating manuscript photos, I am confident that I will catch up and may even end up ahead of schedule by the end of the year. Another good thing is that I have learned to adjust my schedule and not get frustrated about it. I see how important it is to have room for adjustments. There are things I cannot control (such as sick days), and there are the kind of changes that my professional self or my project will benefit from in the long run. So although there were times when it simply didn’t feel like that at all, September 2017 was a good month.