The only thing that remains between me and an official title of Dr. Shedding is copy-editing my dissertation. I am tackling this in 15-minute intervals, because this is about all I can handle without dying of boredom. I'm using a timer, and usually start checking it around the 8-minute mark. Some people seem to have a natural gift for spotting extra spaces, repeated words, and awkward sentences. I am not one of them, but perhaps I should look into paying one of them to do this for me in the future . . . Writing about theory and sorting through data make my brain hurt, but even if this keeps me up at night, it is not boring. This type of editing is.* Worse, it requires my full concentration to make sure I don't miss a paragraph that is indented .25 instead of .5 or a 2 that should be two. Then there is the formatting, where I want to scream who the hell cares if my title is in all caps, or bold, or whatever--is anyone really going to confuse my title with my name, or my university, or anything else on that page? The dissertation formatting guidelines say these guidelines are to preserve my dissertation on microfilm. Who on earth is going to read my dissertation on microfilm?
In my post-defense revisions, I put el-wa7sh on a content diet, and ended up removing 30 pages (I know the length because I pasted them into another document). I added what I thought was just a bit of analysis, but somehow, el-wa7sh has gained back not only those 30 pages, but an additional 25 since my defense. I think he's magic. If only he could magically shed typos.
So how does one get through 371 pages of copyediting? Help!
*Hmm, maybe I can exploit this technique. When my brain is racing through too much theory and data to sleep, I just need to copy-edit a bit as a cure for insomnia? I must try this in the future and report back.