Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Rabbit or the Turtle

I've really been battling Dissertation Burnout lately. All through the process, I've set daily goals--read a certain amount, take notes and develop an organizational plan today, write X number of pages--and for the most part I met them. I was submitting chapters regularly, and that stack of typed pages was growing steadily higher.

Until I hit the last chapter. Then my brain turned to mush. Instead of writing several pages a day, some days I'd sit and stare at the computer screen and, by the end of the day, be lucky if I'd finished a whole paragraph. Aaaarrrgggghh. I couldn't hold a train of thought, I wasn't sure if what I'd written made sense, and I'd have to keep reading the previous pages to make sure I was going where I intended to. Very frustrating.

But I talked to an old friend who's been through the process, and he gave me some great advice. He said to remember that getting a PhD is like a marathon, not a sprint. By the end, it's not about speed. It's about not quitting. This really made sense to me because I've run a marathon. And I remember at about mile 20 really just wanting to walk over and sit down on the curb. But instead, I kept putting one foot in front of the other and repeating in my head "I will not quit, I will not quit, I will not quit . . ." And I didn't.

And I won't.


Jennifer said...

You can do it! You are almost there...then you can read Twilight and Harry Potter! :)

Mark Elrod said...

Don't worry about writing a "great" dissertation.

Just write a "completed" dissertation.