in teh diss gr00ve

I'm in the dissertation groove. Here's what got me going and what's currently keeping me going: Joan Bolker's Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day, and in particular her suggestion of writing in order to think. I don't know why someone who loves to write as much as I do didn't think of this before, but I always felt like I had to have something to say before I wrote it down. Not so, apparently; ideas just start pouring out of me when I'm typing away and forcing myself to keep going, and it's as easy as anything to then highlight things in red, cut and paste into a document of actual formal prose, etc. I've made concrete plans to work every day, which is a new thing for me, and it's worked beautifully so far. I haven't been this motivated since I started my dissertation. Or possibly ever. I've cranked out so many good ideas, set really ambitious goals with my advisor that I think I'll actually stay on top of, and have felt so good about the work I've gotten done Every Single Day (!) that I can see the end of this process for the first time ever. Every graduate student should read this book. Thanks again, Don.

I'm currently enjoying some Dagoba Roseberry chocolate, organic dark chocolate with rosehips and raspberry infused into it. Dagoba has the best flavor combos, and the last three squares of this bar have made a lovely afternoon treat during my writing and analysis today.

In one of my freewriting sessions this week (a Bolker idea), I wrote smilingly about how I was actually going to be Dr. Erica Angert, and then I wrote "Ph Freaking D!"

And she's off!




I find that writing a starting sentence is often all it takes to get going. In most cases that starting sentence doesn't make it to the finished piece, in fact often the assignment takes off in another direction, which is fine. I have about 12 blog 'first lines' as drafts that I need to flush out, and may do it when I am in the mood. Starting is the hard part and having several first lines in a list makes it easier for me.
At work I am often asked to write up some technical or social article for a publication and they are always surprised that I have it done the same day. If I let it go longer it will never get done! It helps that they ask me to write on subjects that I am involved in all the time. Research takes two days.

Keep up the good work, I know those 15 minutes sessions can change into longer ones easily.
Go Erica!!
Go Erica, go Erica, it's your birthday - err, dissertation - go, Erica... :-)
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