Burn This *&$#@-Thesis Down Writing Retreat –Day 1

writing day 1.jpg

4 days and a 40,000 word PhD thesis to write… Totally do-able right??

Of course, I am not starting from scratch- I’ve got about 30,000 words in a very messy, chaotic mess of a draft… I’m hoping being here (looks pretty ideal, right?) Will just push me over the “get this sucker done” huge wall that seems to be standing in my way.

Wish me luck.

Advertisements

Sh*t just got real…

OK- so I am not really sure that “the sh*t just got real” thing works in this context– I just really wanted an excuse to say that.

But, if it means that I need to really get my rear in gear– or my submission date is looming (September 29!!!) and I still do not have a full first draft… then yeah, sh*t just got real! (I tried typing it without the asterisk but couldn’t bring myself to leave it like that– I’ve got me some scruples, or I’m just an ol’ fuddy-duddy academic desperately grasping, and failing, to come off as edgy).

Because of my very full teaching schedule, today is the first day in months that I actually have the day (full work day) to write/work and of course, with that kind of freedom comes some trepidation– now I really have to do something. I am trying to go in with beginners mind— really just being present to what I am writing now and trying to not get ahead of myself or panic about all the work I haven’t done yet.

I am coupling that with a plan– mapping out what needs to be done. Got the white board wiped clean, new calendar pages ready to be filled in.

IMG_1611

I am walking into the white room  à la Twyla Tharp, ready to work, with a plan but open to surprises. And by surprises, I mean brilliant strokes of genius! Divine inspiration!

It’s real. 163 days… and counting. Let’s get this sh*t done!!!

…Ain’t No Cure For The Summertime Blues

As much as I love summer and the opportunity to break with the monotony of schedules, the racing from one activity to another, the juggling, the “lets GO! everyone in the van!!” I am certainly finding, in terms of ” getting things done,” I thrive in that atmosphere, when there are a billion things to get done and get to – including training for a marathon, I do much better in the chaos than in the slower summer pace. Let’s face it I’m not one to sit still, OK for 5 minutes maybe but then I need to go- go- go!  I’m not saying I’m not enjoying the break, because I am, it’s just I expect I should be able to get stuff done and it doesn’t get done- and that includes “extra” stuff like finally cleaning out the kitchen cupboards or sorting through the mound of papers collecting in the “home office” but somehow there isn’t the time. I’m still up at 5:15 am and I haven’t filled up the time with the pile of “summer reading” that I wanted to get to, I haven’t done my daily strengthening exercises I had planned on doing EVERYDAY and I haven’t taken the kids to the beach nearly as often as I would like- so where has all the time gone?!!

As far as I can figure it’s the lack of  “quiet time- that magic 2 hours when I could count on #’s 1,2,3 and 4 to be in school, #5 to play happily on her own and #6 to have his nap- that was my time- somehow I could pack more into those 2 hours than any other time of day- often running on the treadmill, paying the bills, doing the laundry, prepping dinner and STILL having 10 minutes or so to flip through a magazine whilst enjoying a cup of tea.

Now that everyone is under foot that does not happen- there is always something or someone who needs dealing with and as much as I hate making bag lunches during the school year- I now have lunch dishes to deal with! (did I mention I don’t have a dishwasher?!).

Ah well, the theme running through my life these days seems to be ” go with the flow” and not getting worked up about things not going exactly according to plan- after all, that’s what summers all about non?

1950s-tired-exhausted_~h2867