I think it’s likely that this despair I’m feeling is *probably* unfounded, and I’m hoping it is, and that’s why I think I want to say this (sort of) out loud:

I think that I might not be capable of actually writing this dissertation.

I’m not sure what my problem is, exactly, but the more I begin to actually *work* on the first chapter, the less certain I am that I can turn it into anything coherent and/or intelligent (I’m so not shooting for brilliant anymore, so at least that’s out of my system). I just fucking hate it. It’s the pseudo-historical section–the only one I can really write right now, since I am so clearly not done with enough fieldwork to make a dent in the other chapters. And I have, like, 90 pages of notes for this freaking chapter.

NINETY. FUCKING. PAGES. Of notes, quotes, citations, and full paragraphs that just suck.

I’m so annoyed and pissed off at this chapter that I want to give it up and write the second chapter instead–it’s way more interesting, I think–but there’s an enormous amount of data analysis and secondary source perusing I need to do for that, and I hesitate to start on that now, when I’m already immersed in THIS chapter. Which, as far as I can tell, is boring and lame and aren’t I supposed to have some sort of, you know, “committee” who might say things to me like, Luckybuzz, this chapter is a stupid idea, do something else? That would be great. I think I’d like that.

And, also, what happened to my writing? I might be a big neurotic freak, but I know I’m a good writer, and I do not understand why everything I’m writing in this chapter sounds like a 2am essay by a doped-up sixth grader.

Friends, I know many of you have experience with the successful dissertating. Help me out. How do I save a chapter that is half written and just sucks ass and is making me think I will never, never finish this?