Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The 'Starting Writing Writer's Block'

We've all suffered through it. You know you need to write something. You know what you need to write (well, mostly), but you can't seem to write it.

I have re-written my thesis outline three times in as many days. For future reference, doing so does not making writing the thesis easier. But it was worth a try.

I have been trying to take a new stance on life. When I cannot write, I will not stress about it. When I desperately need to write and nothing happens, I will not have an anxiety attack and lose sleep. Mostly, this is working relatively well. The unfortunate thing is that, no matter how I feel psychologically, the deadline is still getting closer.

I have two deadlines this month. They are both the same day. Neither is flexible. I am entirely certain the work for one of them will get done by then. That one, alas, is not my thesis. The thesis, despite my new stance on life, is worrying me.

My issue is simple (it's not). In my glory of being original, I got a little carried away. My thesis hinges on two disparate theories from two (almost opposing) disciplines, neither of which have ever been used for the discipline I work in. Possibly I went a little overboard (though my supervisor thinks otherwise). One theory informs my data collection, the other my data analysis. The first is not the problem. The second is supposed to be helping me structure the second half of the thesis, but instead it seems to be making it harder. However, at this stage, letting it go isn't really an option (not without rethinking my conclusions, redoing my analysis, and reworking the first half of the (already written) thesis). And I have a deadline I have to meet. In other words, I need to make it work.

It would be easier if certain people answered their emails, of course.

So now I am reduced to eating cooking chocolate, because it's the only thing in the house, drinking more tea than I need to on a reasonably warm day, and trying to rewrite the outline for a fourth time. All the while knowing that I have to do my other work this afternoon, or that deadline will become problematic too. And I might as well achieve one of them.

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