This post is just some of my rough notes on the process behind an article that was recently accepted for publication. Obsidian played a significant role in making this research efficient and the writing process focused. Feel free to ask any follow up questions!
- I began with a brand new topic to which I had very little exposure
- I created a provisional bibliography that grew in # of sources as well as organization/themes. Each entry was a backlink that I would fill out as I go
- My project/paper is very interdisciplinary (e.g., sociolinguistics, ritual theory, anthropology, neuroscience, ethology, sociology, religious studies, classics, ancient history), so being able to find recurring themes/ideas in a cogent way was very critical. I’d be sure make backlinks and quick notes so that I could write about these interactions later. This made my research standout as I wasn’t just repeating scholarly debates, but I was adding a new perspective/assessment on existing debates.
- Although Obsidian was very helpful, I still had to put in the work! Nothing replaces good reading/notetaking, and critical/creative thinking
- Obsidian tags, highlights, backlinks, and blockquotes were the most instrumental.
- With tags, it wasn’t so much the search feature, but the ability to quickly see them as I would review my notes. So tags, highlights, and blockquotes were easy way for me to review the salient points of my notes
- With backlinks, they were useful as I mentioned for the working bibliography. But also I could create notes on certain thoughts that I think would serve as key premises for my argument. I’d create them as a backlink and fill that note as I would progressively do my research
Now onto the draft/writing phase. All of the key ideas were there in my notes, so it was just a matter of referencing them via backlinks. Essentially, I’d create an outline where each section was a list of key ideas and backlinks. Then writing each section in my own words was easier because I knew both the main idea and the key sources for my argument.
Now onto the revision process. I would granularize and enumerate each comment from the reviewers. With each comment, I would make a list of backlinks (both existing of future ones) to address each comment. At this point, Obsidian had rolled out block references, which made this even easier!
Anthony Gold was gracious enough to interview me where I was able to verbalize and showcase my flow. You can find it here:
And I also offered more details about the writing process here: