Make sense to anyone else?  The reverb prompt today was this:

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?

I’m sure most people would take that and start thinking about their blog, or their short story, or poem, or novel.  Me?  I immediately go to my dissertation.

My dissertation that has about three sentences in it.

After a year.

Why don’t I work on it?  I could give you all the usual reasons: new baby, full time job, husband, house, blah blah blah.  But the real reason is simple. 

I don’t want to.  I have been in college since dinosaurs roamed the earth fuck, let’s see … carry the one … 1998.  Jesus, 12 years.  I am tired.  I want to go home at night and be with my family and not think about technicaltopicthatmyadvisorhasfundingtostudy.  When I do spend time working on research, I remember why I’m doing this.  I enjoy it; I enjoy studying and learning, and the topic has direct application in my career.  But writing and compiling and having to think about how all the moving parts work together? Exhausting. 

I want to finish.  I have come too damn far to quit now.  But I almost wish that I had never started down this road. 

So while I was putting the baby down tonight, in the dark with no distractions, I started thinking about the math involved in finishing this.  One paragraph each day for 365 days = 365 paragraphs.  365 paragraphs / 4 paragraphs per page = 91ish pages.  91ish pages = almost a full dissertation.  Seeing as I’m scheduled to graduate in 2012, that’s the rate I need to be writing at.

A paragraph a day.  I can do that. 

So henceforth, I am instituting NaDissWriYear.  I am committing to writing one paragraph each day for the next 365 days.  If I get more than that, whoot!  But if not, at a minimum, I’ll be well on my way.


2 thoughts on “NaDissWriYear

  1. I hit roughly the same timeline, with the same output, and came to the same conclusion: I should have gone to J school and screwed this noise a few years back.

    My advice when making lists: make them small, and start easy. Write that para that you think will sound sexy on the back flap of the glossy book cover. Go from there. Don’t worry about outlining a whole chapter — start at a point in the middle you find interesting, and then go back and write a few good intro paras and flesh it out. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed, and if your to-do list is manageable (“shower, feed cats, write 5 sentences, eat dinner”) you’ll feel a lot better come bedtime and heading into the next day.

    Good luck, it’s a long slog. But it can be done.

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