Friday, March 19, 2010

Struggling Through

I've spent this week getting back into a routine. My routine got thrown off for a while: Geoffy visited, and then I was really sick for more than a week, and then my parents visited. I got work done during that time (I found and translated a new-to-me German primary source, and then adapted many of my plans for my dissertation in light of what I found with this source). However, I didn't keep to a regular schedule, I didn't work at my desk, and (most importantly) I didn't add any words to my chapter. For a few weeks.

Somehow, it was intimidating to get back into chapter-writing. It was also intimidating getting back to working seriously at my desk, somehow. I kept remembering all the lost time (and forgetting the well-spent time), and then old "But this is a CHAPTER! For my DISSERTATION!" anxiety came creeping back.

And so I broke it into manageable chunks. The first day, my goal was just "I need to have written something by the end of the day." And so (after much gnashing of teeth) I re-read what I'd already written, found a place where I hadn't finished a thought, and finished off a couple of paragraphs, adding a few thoughts here and there. And I built from there. This week I've been taking the "I just need to write a little bit" approach, and I just realised that it's been working: I've doubled the size of my chapter this week by approaching it little by little. (Of course, my chapter is still in the place where it's not so difficult to double its size, but give me that victory for now, please.)

And now let's see if I can write a little more today. Maybe today I'll try to build up some more momentum.

1 comment:

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

You know what sometimes helps me -- is to open a new document, write the chunk I need to write, then copy and paste that into the CHAPTER (dramatic music here).

This is especially helpful when I realize I need a new bit to put into an existing chapter, but it can also help you build a chapter one section at a time.