Ph.D.s and Pigtails



Hi, there. Long time, no see. You may have heard about National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, an annual November event in which people commit to writing a rough draft of a novel–or ~50,000 words–in one month. I’m kind of stuck in the mud with my dissertation, so I’ve decided that I’m going to write that much during November, just for my dissertation. I’m committing to writing 1,500 words a day for my dissertation. It might not be great. I might not keep it all. But I want to get in the habit of writing seriously every day. I’d like to keep that going, too.

Sometimes research doesn’t work out…

I have a tendency to bury myself in research and then get stuck there because I’ve drowned out my own thoughts and my own argument. In addition to that issue, there’s been a couple of anxiety flare-ups, and my fiancé (did I mention I got engaged in August?) and I have been planning our wedding (way in advance because we wanted to nail down our big ticket items while he was actually on this side of the country). I’m not behind by any means, but I’d like to start seeing more results for all my effort. Basically, I’m hoping that this sprint will get me in good writing habits and help me cut through the blocks I’ve set up in my writing process. More focus, more writing, more happiness. Yay!

I’d also like to note that while Julio was here, we drove to Chicago and saw the Hull-House Museum. I found it not only helpful for my dissertation, but really inspiring. It got my creative juices flowing and I’m hoping that, as I make progress on the dissertation, some of the ideas I had can also bear fruit.

As I’m cranking out writing during this month, I’m also planning to get back in the habit of blogging here about my research and related subjects and events as they pop up.

Readers, how do you keep up good habits? Do you have particular practices that help with your writing or productivity? How do you balance creativity and analysis? (I find that hard sometimes.)