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:
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:
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?