my other WIP.

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Right now, I’m working on a slightly-less-photogenic project: my dissertation! I’m supposed to defend this summer (on July 10th, in fact), which means I need to have my dissertation finished by the second week of June. I’m actually aiming to finish it by the end of May. Over the course of the last couple of years, I’d managed to write about 90 pages, all in scattered bits and pieces across several chapters, so that’s where I started, the day after my last day of classes for the semester:

May 1 dissertation page count: just noting where I'm starting as I make the final push toward the finish line.

I’ve been taking self-portraits with my “page count” card each time it changes (which has been pretty much every weekday morning, except for when I’ve had to spend the day dealing with grading related stuff). My most recent page count, exactly a week after I started this process, is 137:

May 9 page count: 137

This includes a finished Chapter 1! My goal for this coming Wednesday (I’m supposed to send updates to my advisor every Wednesday) is to finish Chapter 2 as well (it’s actually pretty close). Then Chapters 3&4 next Wednesday, and Chapters 5&6 the Wednesday after that, and then I’ll be done!! (Chapters 5&6 might actually take a little longer, though – that’s where the largest amount of new writing remains to be done).

It will be so good to rid myself of this massive thing that’s been weighing over me, riddling me with self-doubt and stress for the last two years. Finishing it is a struggle – every day while writing, I feel stupid, like all of my ideas are stupid, like nothing in this thing is worthwhile…and objectively, that can’t be true (or else my advisor wouldn’t be letting me finish it), but oh, the Ph.D is such a psychological wringer.

Wish me luck?

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5 thoughts on “my other WIP.

  1. If your thesis advisor likes your topic, keep moving forward. Steady progress is the key – as is splurging when you hit certain goals you set for yourself! Splurging could be a skein of yarn, two hours of uninterrupted knitting, a barista-made coffee drink or even sleep! :)

  2. So much. So much luck for you. I’m about to start a Master’s, and the thesis part already has me nervous. A PhD dissertation? Don’t even want to think about it. So good luck on yours.

  3. Welcome to life as a dissertator! It sucks, but you’re nearing the finish line and you’ll feel so good when you’re done. I felt the same way about mine (self-doubt, etc) but I went back and read it later and realized it was actually pretty good. (Too bad I’ve never bothered to try and publish it…but that’s another topic altogether!)

    Anyway, hang in there!! You have much to be proud of.

  4. barefootrooster

    It’s going to be a summer of diss writing for me too. I’m aiming to settle into a sustainable rhythm of writing every day. Will think happy thoughts in your direction as you work on putting all of the pieces together!!

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