Friday, August 1, 2008

Dissertation Jail

I have sentenced myself to the library to serve out my time on chapter 5. It is only somewhat working. So far I have written for about an hour ---- I took a paragraph that I roughed out on Wed. and rewrote it, and spliced in the critics I am responding to (now it is a nice paragraph). But now I am restless and my brain is loose, like how after a really hard swim or run you can't even clench your fist any more. I went and returned some keys and videos as a break. Now I still feel blah. It might be because the lib. is so stuffy in here --- perhaps I shall go and work on the next section, which I have printed out, outside in the fresh air. I might get another hour out of that, and then I can break for lunch.

It is hard going from "an hour or so here and there" to "now you have a full open day to dissertate for 8 hours or more." However, I have deadlines, people, and I can't just go on at my turtle pace for this home stretch. Gar. Grah! Bleah!

I also have the final papers from my students but I won't even touch them today. I can do them on Sunday or something, after having really driven myself nuts on the chapter writing.

Ok ---- pushing myself away from the table and going off to stare at a different section of my chapter now. Any words of encouragement and silliness are appreciated, as I'll probably be back here for another break in a little bit ---- but not until I turn this blob of notes and quotes into another paragraph!

Update: Ok, so where are all my supportive and helpful comments? Tphthththththtth! You all are either falling down on the job or have gone off to have fun this Friday, and I am grumpy about both those options.

What I have done: I wrote for another hour outside and typed it all in. That was another roughed-out paragraph that needed fixing. Then I took a short break, then I tweaked a mostly-done paragraph. Then I ate lunch. So that's three crappy paragraphs turned into actual paragraphs! (Ok, I write sloooooow. I usually either rough out or write up a paragraph a day, so it's more like a 1/2 paragraph every day in my "little bit at a time" system. If I were to continue at that pace I wouldn't have everything cleaned up for another year, I feel. Anyway.)

After I ate, I felt all tired and blah. I've been "puttering" more than working ---- I grabbed some books, played with the biblio for a while, pulled more quotes and dumped them here and there ---- nothing really substantial. Then I took an internet reading break, and here I am.

What next? that is the question. I could do some more biblio work and some more checking details against this book I got out (I hate it when I take notes and then the topic shifts, so that I don' t have exact notes on the new stuff I want to reference.) I could also print out what I've got and stare at it a while. (Or I could take a nap.) Who said that? WHO? Don't you go napping the day away missy! You've got craploads left to write!


k8 said...

Fun? What fun? I've been in dissertation jail today too. After dinner-release (sort of like work-release) I will be back in dissertation jail.

How about some retroactive support?

Maude said...

i send you wonderful productive happy dissertation vibes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

okay, perhaps happy is a bit of a stretch, so i send massively productive vibes for today and tonight and sunday, student papers be damned. i'll be checking in on what i know will be huge progress. you'll get so much done you won't even recognize yourself!

let me tell you, if i can do, you can, too!

heu mihi said...

Oops, sorry, wasn't anywhere near my computer in your hour of need. Which is probably over now, given the time difference between here and there. So...I hope the rest of your afternoon went well! I feel your pain, even if not precisely right now. So--more accurately, I am familiar with the pain that you're currently experiencing. My sympathies, etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

I've been in literature review jail. So yeah, I can relate. Just. Keep. Writing. :)

Anonymous said...

i have been in unpacking jail. good luck with all your work though!!

Sisyphus said...

Thank you for all the retroactive supporting vibes (although I would _way_ rather be packing/unpacking right now, but then again I am a strange obsessive-compulsive person who does that kind of stuff for fun.)

Now, everyone must bring me cookies.