I finished what I hope is the second mini-section of my introduction this evening and, after having spent far more time writing and rewriting what is, actually, one of the least important bits of prose in my entire dissertation, I am ready to move on to the next mini-section. But I am frustrated with things again. I am largely dissatisfied with what I have written and, while I doubt there is much I can do to improve it (I mean, really, there's only so much one can do with an introduction), I cannot seem to let go of what I have just done. I keep feeling like I want to do something more to improve the damn thing when, really, I need to just move on. I suspect that a huge part of the problem is that, having already said everything I wanted to say in the body of the dissertation, the introduction feels extraneous. I mean, I understand its function, but, since I am not adding to or building upon anything I have already written, I find it uninteresting. What worries me most about this feeling is that I do not want it to affect the way that I write the introduction because, while it may be old-hat to me, it serves a very real and very important purpose for my readers.
Or maybe I'm just growing impatient with the end of the project so near at hand. I feel like I am done, ready to defend the dissertation, but I still need to finish writing it. The introduction, in other words, feels like a technicality...
For tomorrow: Prepare for the next mini-section.