Due to my impending travel, I’m going through a weird period where I have simultaneously a lot of downtime and no time at all. Hence it seems like a good time to “pick off” relatively small tasks. One such task is the revision of a talk into a proper article for an edited volume. I agreed to do this a year ago and then set it aside, and so I needed to reconnect with what I was trying to say in the talk. During several intense dog walks and showers, I developed a strategy of revision that would leave virtually no stone standing upon another — I’d need to expand this, elaborate that, temper this overstatement, reorganize this segment completely, etc., etc.
Then I thought, “Well, before I get ahead of myself, I should look at the abstract I sent to the editor so that I know what I actually promised.” And as it turns out, this bold new vision for the essay was… exactly what I had put in the original abstract a year ago.