Please, consider this one as an ongoing journal of my new academic work. I’m writing it here (instead in my own pieces of paper) because it may reveal something of how a work can grow - or, as an alternative, how mental illness can be revealed.
I started this work on my iPhone, tapping as fast as possible after having come out of the office of my teacher. He proposed me a very rough, apparently impossible thesis, matching ideas that had not been matched before. Obviously, I immediately accepted, because it was a very fascinating challenge.
The long note continue to grow during the following few days, in a continual exchange between PlainText on the iPhone and TextEdit on the Mac. In the end it was only TextEdit, accommodating all the snippets I was cutting from books on paper and in digital form, as well as my copious ideas on ways of linking very far concepts.
When the TextEdit document was so long to be next to explode, I moved everything to Scrivener. I started breaking it down in separate parts and chapters. Snippets were moved to the matching chapter. I created links to let an internal net of references grow. The (always varying) outline in the Binder was the basis of the various synopsis drafts I wrote. Up to a clear, readable idea keeping my universe together.
Now, I’m ready to move this ordered maze of ideas out of the Draft folder, to the Research folder. The real Draft will grow from the synopsis, progressively populated by snippets, elaborations of references, newly created text.
This time I didn’t use DevonThink for gathering ideas, simply because there was no time to scan, transcribe and/or grab from the net snippets. I had to type as much text as possible, leaving the remaining materials to bibliographic references pointing me to the original texts. All considered, Scrivener can easily tolerate this kind of reference materials.