When I was outlining my paper for Archives, I scrawled myself a little note about Step 3: Profit! My note was in reference to early promotional writings about America. Substitute emigrate or invest for the initial step of collecting underpants and it fits nicely.

It turns out it also applies to the paper itself. I tried to make the leap from colonial-era materials to historical societies with a bridge of popular historical writing. With more pages and discipline, I could perhaps have done so more effectively. With more time and discipline I might have decided to winnow down the focus of the paper. But it was still a perfectly cromulent paper. I’m actually flirting with the idea of revising it. I’ve never done that before. Papers have always been fire-and-forget (or at least fire-and-abandon: I did make sure to ask for feedback on this one). But I am wondering if doing a second draft (as opposed to rolling revisions) would be instructive and/or yield something a cut above cromulent.

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