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

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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.

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Rejection Perfection

Loving this article by the writer Kim Liao about having a rejection goal for the year. She shot for 100 rejections, and while she fell short of that goal (she got 43) she did get 5 acceptances- which, as she points out, would have felt like a daunting number to aim for. A little reverse psychology perhaps? But in both the academic and artistic communities I am a part of this seems like some great advice. How do you get better at your craft but by doing, doing, doing?! And how will anyone ever be able to see your work unless you are putting it out there?

In both the academic and artistic communities I am a part of, this seems like some really great advice. How do you get better at your craft but by doing, doing, doing?! And how will anyone ever be able to see your work unless you are putting it out there?! All. the time.

Rejection goals.

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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.

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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!!!

Time keeps on ticking…

I don’t have time to be doing this… I don’t have time to be doing anything really, or that’s what it feels like- Have you ever been so busy that you don’t even know where to start, you kind of feel frozen? I guess that’s called being overwhelmed, I am overwhelmed at the moment.

I won’t even go into all the gory details- but just wanted to share something that I found inspiring.

It’s about Annabel Lyon a writer from BC who is winning many awards for her book The Golden Mean (which I haven’t had time to read. LOL!)

“Lyon wrote and researched The Golden Mean over eight years, through two pregnancies, her UBC teaching job, and her childrens’ infancy and toddlerhood. You don’t have to be a parent to recognize that as a feat of great discipline.

“If I sat down to write 100 words, I’d write 100 words. I wouldn’t let myself get psyched out that I don’t have hours to work. I would tell myself, ‘well, I have 15 minutes while the children are napping, and I’m going to go write one sentence.’”

See the whole article here

What inspired me was her approach to her art/work of writing and balancing that with Motherhood.

That’s where I want to be.

I’m sure I could get there, if I just had the time.