Dissertation Update- On to Proposal #2

by - Friday, December 07, 2012

So, I am back to writing a proposal, but this time feels like a totally different game. First of all, I have a lot of weirdness to get over. First of all, other than this blog and a few reviews, I have been constantly revising instead of writing for the last 6 months, so I feel like I have forgotten how to sit down and just write something out. I feel like I am just circling around it, too nervous to actually dive in. I know that I need this to click, or else I am just going to be switching topics forever. But that amount of pressure, doubled with much less confidence than I have ever had before, is leading to a new kind of stasis. The Boy says I need to take it easy on myself, because we both got sick my first big writing week, but I wanted to have a whole draft by the end of today, and instead I have about 5 pages and a bunch of notes (I'm not writing now because our apartment is filled with a bunch of guys fixing our garbage disposal).

I feel beaten down after spending months and months only hearing about all the things I am doing wrong. When my adviser tried to give me some encouragement, she basically told me I take criticism well without getting defensive. That's when you know you've hit rock bottom. The lack of confidence is especially tough, because I feel myself trying to regain it artificially, but of course that just comes off as false and egotistical. That's not me. I don't think there is any way to get back to myself but be patient and to keep trying to prove things to myself, because I don't have any big victories to look forward to in the immediate future. i miss the immediate victories of being in coursework, but I think this is much closer to the thing they call adulthood.

On the other hand, I do feel more refreshed and optimistic to just be making something new rather than constantly trying to address problems I can't figure out how to solve. It's definitely an ugly process for me, but I just have to keep going. That's the key. So this afternoon I am going to take another whack at the introduction. Fredo and Hugo seem to be wrapping up, so I will clean up from lunch and get back to my table, Christmas music, and writing.

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