Thursday, July 21, 2005

Day 3: Progress Continues

I was pleasantly surprised to see Academic Coach's comment on my last post-- and you can now see me "starring" on her wonderful website! For a while today I thought that it was somewhat ridiculous to pass along my advice to other struggling academics -- after all, I started this whole thing last century! But then I thought about it some more (and not to pat myself on the back) but maybe my friend's mantra of "black words on white paper" will help someone else, too. In fact, once I got over my horrible years-long case of major dissertation-block, I've written the bulk of it during the past three years, while teaching a 4-4 load at the same time. So I must have figured something out... The sad thing about this whole process is that there really isn't a magic bullet that works for everyone.

But for the moment, the golden rules continue to apply. I slowly but surely slugged my way through my goal for today -- and finished it in time to blog, watch a bit of BH90210 (there's my confession for the day), go for a run, AND enjoy the free food and beer this evening. Not bad. Of course, the paragraphs I wrote are going to need serious revision someday, and my goal for tomorrow is already giving me an anxiety attack, but those are jobs for another time. Even though it has felt like running in place, once I looked at the cumulative effect of my efforts over the past few days, it added up to 8 pages!

I think the key for today was to TURN OFF the Inner Critic. For some reason, every time I sit down to start a new chapter, or even a new section of a chapter I've been working on, the Inner Critic returns in force. For me, momentum is a fragile thing -- so I took my usual approach and kept reminding myself that it doesn't have to be good, it just has to be done. Why should I take the time to craft a paragraph about historiography that doesn't directly relate, even if I can see theoretical connections? It would Be Better if I did so, after all. But whenever I come to a such a fork in the road, I always take the path of least resistance (and my advisors have not noticed yet, or if they have, they haven't complained). And today, that path was to put those citations in a footnote and keep on writing. And v0ila!

Time to lace up those running shoes...


At 8:05 PM, Blogger academic coach said...

Oh, yeah, you're on track....

And working to cut out those inner voices


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