Factors that should be motivating me to finish the goddamn dissertation, already:

  • A January 1st deadline (2 chapter drafts to The Advisor) in order to get the much-needed, absolutely-last-chance completion fellowship for next year
  • Being 4+ months behind by The Advisor’s deadlines (and farther behind, even, by my self-imposed deadlines)
  • The chapter I’m currently working on should be writing itself. It’s just an expansion of the conference paper, for fuck’s sake. I have all the data. I know what it’s about. It’s outlined thoroughly. It’s ready to go.
  • I really, really want to be done with this. I want to be Dr. Luckybuzz. I’ve been in school for 27 years now, and I’m ready to stop being a student.
  • I confidently promised The Advisor that I would have a complete draft (all chapters) done by the time the baby’s born (in June). There’s no reason that shouldn’t happen.
  • I’m here by myself (with just the cats) for over 13 hours a day. I have no other responsibilities (besides incubating the li’l parasite). I have very few distractions. I have the Dream Dissertating Environment.

Factors that are thwarting my progress:

  • I am, apparently, afraid of my dissertation. That’s about the only reason I can come up with for my level of avoidance. I seem to be able to work in about 10 minute increments before my mind wanders and I get all freaked out and I do something else.
  • That “something else” is almost never anything dissertation-productive.
  • Sleeping 14+ hours a day isn’t helping, either. People keep saying, “You’re in the second trimester now! Aren’t you feeling better?” Well, actually, no. I feel exactly the same–fine, but exhausted. I’m fairly sure there’s not a secret second-trimester switch that goes off at 13 weeks (or 13 weeks and 3 days, or whatever the hell it is). Or if there is, mine hasn’t flipped yet.  Because I’m still tired.
  • Even when I’m not tired, I’m all lethargic and bleary. Like, I’ve been trying to get up when GB leaves the house, at 6:30am. I’ve been doing pretty good with that, most days. Today, I slept in until like 8:30, so I’ve only been awake for an hour now. So why am I still having trouble concentrating and feeling like I could lie back down?
  • See, these are all excuses. Yes, I’m tired, and yes, I’m pregnant, but dudes, seriously, that’s not the real problem. I know that. The real problem is that I can’t seem to work on the diss for more than a few minutes at a time. I’ve tried setting timers, I’ve tried doing work/break scheduling (40/20? 30/10? 10/2? None of them work). I just keep stopping. Partly, I think, it’s the classic reasons: I think the diss is no good, I think what I’m writing is crap, and once it’s written–even if it’s a draft–there’s that sort of finality: like, that’s the best I can do. And I don’t like that feeling. The feeling of the *possibility* of the dissertation’s brilliance? Much nicer.
  • And yes, I see this post for what it is: more procrastination. Okay. I’ll try to get something done. But why is it So.  Fucking. Hard?