I'm troubled by the slow progress of my China book, having hit a couple of really difficult chapters. The themes seem promising: a) comparing poverty and prosperity in Tonghua, sparked by a Chinese teacher's writing on unemployment, and b)language mistakes thrown up during my work as an editor. The latter should be funny as well as informative but isn't, and the former has a lot of evidence resistant to my best wrangling efforts. Maybe the problem is that I'm trying to tackle two difficult pieces at once or maybe I'm just not getting enough time, what with my Chinese and film studies. No, it's not that. Other chapters have been relatively easy, although the 'monkeys, typewriters and Shakespeare theory' is something I believe in. If I just stick at them they'll come right in the end.
I think I'll make a start on my piece on backpacking teachers. It's so much easier to write a descriptive piece than one where I have to marshall arguments, and I can do it alongside each of the problem ones in turn. At least then I will have the satisfaction of another piece completed!