I talked with my advisor and with a friend of mine today about my first draft of the colloquium proposal. Both meetings left me feeling good about the state of my dissertation idea, although I also have come to feel that my writing is less disciplined than it should be. My main problem as a writer is that I tend to want to put everything that is on my mind, whether or not it is related to the main topic, down on the page. This can lead to a false sense of intellectual density when it fact it reflects a lack of focus and an inability to prioritize my ideas. My sentences also have a tendency to ramble on, to deploy semi-colons unnecessarily, to use emdashes when commas would suffice, to run on and on and on. This has to stop, I’ve decided. I think, as an exercise, I will try to rewrite my colloquium with absolutely no semicolons, emdashes, colons, and other unnecessary typographical tics. Then I can reintroduce them where they are most needed. That’s the theory, anyway. We will see if I can maintain my discipline.