Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Who's Got A Year On Their Hands?

I've had a few kind souls inquire recently about my thesis progress.  It is this: it's still progressing.

Sometimes I wonder if there's something subconscious that's preventing me from finishing it.  Like, I'm afraid to not have it as a conversational crutch when people ask me what I do.  As likely as that sounds, if it's true than it is buried deep, deep, deeeeeeeeep in my subconscious, because conscious me really wants to get this thing done.

Let's go back in time: I'd intended to spend all last summer researching, preparatory to writing (and finishing) in the fall.  Instead, I moved.  Then, my lack of preparation left me paralyzed as I approached writing that fall - I really wasn't even sure what I was supposed to write about.  This paralysis stayed half the fall, until I told my thesis advisory that I needed more time.  She said that was fine, and I took Christmas off as a vacation.

Flash forward, and it's present day.  It is tough to write with Edie around, though not impossible.  I have to take off to the library (which I did to write the largest portions of my chapters--it took an embarrassingly short amount of time once I sat down to do it), and write at night, which I do.

I just read another book (Ladies Guide in Health and Disease, by J. Harvey Kellogg), reviewed all my notes, and did another pass at my first chapter, and it feels a great deal better.  In an effort to just get my thoughts out, the first draft came out sounding a lot more emotional and anti the medical establishment than I actually feel.  After my most recent draft it feels more balanced, more unbiased.

I'm about to comb through my second chapter, which I feel less sure about.  My adviser's exact words on the first draft I sent her were, "Lot's of good ideas here, but remember, you are writing a scholarly paper.  So enough with the fragments and evocative phrasing!!"

Two exclamation points.

This process has been difficult.  I did a semester of school after I had Edie, and I managed to write then, so I can only assume it's the flexibility of this process that I am struggling with.  I love my topic, I love writing about it.  But, I'm ready*.  Sooooooo ready to be done.

Got it, subconscious?

*I assume these are the fragments to which she is referring.
**photo taken from the back side of my post office.


  1. Love the photo. Also, I'm eager to read your finished product. No pressure on your subconscious.

  2. I have similar notes from editors on work that I pitched a hundred years ago. What really helps me through these hard times is getting an ice cold diet coke and watching the latest episode of Nashville. YEAH!! Let's do it. xoxo

  3. Amber, this is the best advice I've ever gotten.