The dissertation was only the beginning.

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Quote of the Day
Friday, March 24, 2006
What Is the Problem Here?
Clean house. Clean sink, even. Laundry was done last night. Supper plans are ready, as are lunch plans for tomorrow. Pantry is stocked. Office is immaculate. Necessary research materials have been read and reread. Computer was defragmented and is running smoothly. Usual blogs have been read, some commented on. Weather is dreary. House is quiet and smells vaguely of last night's cupcakes.

I cannot write, despite the fact that my usual distractions have been eliminated. I HATE days like this, when I sit in front of my computer, research materials next to me, perfectly organized, and I still can't seem to eke out a paragraph. I think I've written 300 words today -- not good, when I NEED this chapter to be out of my hands by next Tuesday. It's 20 pages so far (after lots of tinkering and deleting), with many, many left to go.

I think part of the problem is that I know where this chapter is heading, and I feel like it's already written in my head. I also know that the next section I have to write is a big and complicated one, followed by a substantially easier and more interesting one. I think part of me is reluctant to start writing it because I know that once I start, I'll have a long slog until the end and that sounds completely horrible to me right now.

I always imagined when I reached this point in the dissertation, just one more case study after this and a conclusion away from finishing, that I'd want to race to the end. I imagined that once I could clearly see the finish line, I'd want to sprint to get there. Don't get me wrong: I want this over, and soon. But why am I holding myself back like this? Why have these past two days -- indeed, this entire week -- been so unproductive? Being sick can account for the first few days, and Wednesday I had ST all day, but I have no excuses for yesterday or today. This is pathetic.

Guess that means a long night after ST goes to bed. Of course, I said that last night and couldn't bear to face the computer then, either. I am praying for inspiration.
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 3/24/2006 03:48:00 PM  
6 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 6:40 PM, Blogger ArticulateDad said…

    You need some laughter. That'll do it. Pop 15 minutes of Monty Python in the old VCR, or something. After a good laugh, you'll feel much better, and you'll easily convince yourself how much fun writing that dissertation really is. Go ahead. What have you got to lose?

    Or... I guess you could run around the block a few times. Get your head spinning, then the words will just fall out. (Make sure you've got a good basket handy to catch them in, so you don't lose any!)

  • At 6:50 PM, Blogger Dr. Mon said…

    What you're experiencing is definitely not pathetic so don't beat yourself up too much. You're just hitting a wall--I went through the same thing on my last chapter--you need a second wind and its okay if it takes you a little time to find it. If you find some energy to return to work tonight, try to build some momentum with the easier section (if you can skip around)--at this point you just need to get going again and you'll be fine. Hang in there sis!!

  • At 8:22 PM, Blogger *statgirl* said…

    I am so with you on this one. I am going no where fast with the last chapter of my dissertation. I'm sitting down now and vow to write for the next 2 hours. Ready...go!

  • At 8:10 AM, Blogger Laura said…

    I find it takes some time after time away to get back into the swing of things. Keep trying. It'll come eventually.

  • At 3:08 PM, Blogger phd me said…

    Did you find your inspiration? You know I'm rooting for you!

  • At 4:33 PM, Blogger Lilian said…

    I've been in a similar position for a couple of weeks now, and I still need to write 4 full chapters which are only started. I hope you start to produce more soon, though (and me too... [sigh]).

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