Getting started (again)

It’s a new year, the year I finish my dissertation. That’s reason to celebrate.

The first start:
Last week I had two days set aside to work, and both got cut much to short by circumstances (mostly) outside of my control. I did follow Dame Eleanor’s advice for getting back into good work patterns–I stacked books and articles, moved them to my desk, printed out what I’ve written of my current chapter so far, signed up for the new iteration of the online academic writing group.

Today’s start:
Today I started by reading what I’ve written so far. And though I was a little afraid to peruse those eleven pages, they’re really not half bad. They’re the most solid first draft I’ve written in the dissertation. I do have a lot more reading and writing to do, but I’m feeling hints of optimism about the chapter.

And onward:
I’ve been making my reading list, figuring out what books and articles I need to order, and generally getting organized in the research department. My next tasks will involve dealing with all the research of read that needs annotations or notes. I’m also hoping to start the week by knocking out 500 words of my 3000 for the week.

These are all little things in baby steps. One word after another.

I’ve been feeling anxious that I won’t make my deadline for a February defense, and it’s quite likely I’ll miss it. But I’m trying to remind myself that another delay does not equal failure, that 2013 will still be the year I finish, and that the delay is likely to only be a month or two. It’s difficult to balance the desire to be done with the discipline needed to actually finish. Thanks to the writing group for keeping me on track.


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