It feels like I’m drowning and yet I know that if I bob up and down really hard for a little while longer, I’ll make it to shore and I’ll survive, etc etc.
Fits of panic, a few meltdowns.
Having a few problems with my word limit. I was fine, but suddenly I’m not, but it might be OK, I don’t know.
I walked into an AUTOMATIC SLIDING DOOR yesterday. How is that even possible?
I don’t have time/words to include some extra stuff, which is a shame.
Lots of thoughts about fonts, and margins, and other stuff.
Still need to edit half the dissertation’s footnotes.
My sanity is being held in place by my boyfriend (who brings me his massive headphones so I can listen to soothing music while working at the postgraduate study room) and my most amazing friend in Malta who is Chief Proofreader, Chief Encourager, and Chief Best Person. <3
Since the word count doesn’t really matter any more for the purposes of this blog, let’s have a BANANA CHIP COUNT.
Current amount of banana chips eaten today: approximately 273 banana chips!
I still need to: finish writing my conclusion, edit/re-write a few chunks, add references to certain things, add a few extra bits here and there, proofread, fix up footnotes, fix up the bibliography, get the formatting right, prepare a contents page + cover page + acknowledgements page.
And then I need to upload it online, print out two copies, bind those two copies, and finally hand them in at the department.
Today’s goal is (1) conclusion, (2) editing and re-writing, (3) adding references to certain things, (4) adding a few extra bits here and there.
Cinnamon rolls are an excellent way to start the day, however.
On Sunday I went to a BBQ out in the sun, and then rowing in the River Wear! <3 AND I GOT MY LEGS OUT.
Oh dear. It’s September. Deadline month, deadline week. Only 6 days to go.
I’m at around 14,000 words. The rest of it is more or less planned out.
My sleeping patterns are getting worse and worse. To the point where now I have to struggle to do work because I’m so lethargic. Today is a bit better though.
Currently planning the next 6 days, roughly. I aim to spend Wednesday and Thursday fixing up footnotes, my bibliography, and other things like the contents page, acknowledgements, and the cover page. Friday will be all about printing and binding and uploading and HANDING THINGS IN.
So that leaves the next few days to finish the rest of the writing, and then I have lots of plans for changes I want to make to the chapters I’ve already written.
Thankfully, I seem to be sticking to (self-imposed) chapter word limits pretty solidly. That’s one extra thing to not worry about, since usually I go WELL over word limits, which means I’d need to spend extra hours just trimming it down.
I had another meeting with my supervisor yesterday which was also very encouraging, but I was so completely tired; it felt like my body had almost shut down. I ended up going home afterwards and sleeping (with uncomfortable dreams) for 3 hours. Then I stayed up till 3am but couldn’t really work, so I just started fixing up my bibliography. Today I woke up at about 10am, and I haven’t done anything dissertation-related yet, but I’ve done things like clean the kitchen, do the dishes, etc.
As I said, right now I’m planning the next few days. Hopefully things will be OK.
Ughhhh. I did very little between Friday evening and Wednesday (today) morning.
BUT I have finished the chapter I wanted to finish, and a super-lovely friend looked through it and gave it a thumbs up. Phew. Still need to fix up a few parts of it, and footnotes and formatting are not even close to being fixed up, but at least the chapter is mostly done.
Still having trouble sleeping and lots, lots, lots of nightmares.
My next task is to attack the most important chunk of my dissertation. I started doing that today, and I wrote about 200 words, but I’ve realised that my plan for the chapter is just (1) too long, (2) too bitty, (3) not including enough primary source material.
So tomorrow and Thursday need to be super-mega productive, so I can have the bulk of this chapter done.
Constantly feeling tired and apathetic. At least I had a lovely lunch with a friend today (fancy pancakes!) and then went on the Most Successful Shopping Trip Ever at Tesco’s, where I spent the grand total of £1.77 and bought a PACKED BAG of stuff (including 6 bread rolls, packs of cut-up fruit, and a bouquet of flowers! – and that’s barely half of it).
It’s so cold in this country. Shivering in long sleeves and leggings.
More-or-less finalised word count = 9,000 words (even though I have more, but I need to chop off a few hundred). Real percentage of the dissertation done (minus final editing, footnotes, formatting, and all that extra stuff) = about 40%.
So I didn’t manage to finish a coherent draft of my 5,000 word chunk as mentioned in my previous progress post, but I have that amount in a jumbled manner, which I’m currently piecing together in a coherent whole. Hoping to finish it and send it later on today. It doesn’t need to be perfect, Claire.
My sleeping patterns and energy levels have been fluctuating very oddly during the past few days.
Doing dishes is the bane of my life, but I’ve been on top of it by doing big batches every day/day-and-a-half.
I put on a little weight since moving to Durham last year, but now I’m putting on MORE weight throughout this silly dissertation-writing process. UGH.
My attempt at writing the introductory paragraph in a manner which is true to me failed MISERABLY.
I’ll update again once I’ve sent the finished chapter draft to my supervisor, and have a better idea of my word count and predicament. (The word count overall currently stands at around 7,000 words. Pretty significant.)
YOU GUYS. I might have a word count for you today. It’s not a cohesive chunk of text that I’ve written, but I’m including bits and pieces of sections within different Word documents, and I seem to have accumulated over 2,000 words till now. TWO THOUSAND. Of my own words. That’s like, a tenth of my dissertation! Pats on backs for everyone!
I’m having a bit of a tough time with regard to my general existence though: I’m having a lot of trouble getting to sleep (barely slept a wink last night), and I’m not the most pleasant person you’re going to encounter throughout the day. Add to that my general apathy and excellent skills of distracting myself and procrastinating everything… and work is slow. Very slow.
My next goal is to flesh out enough of a section to be able to present a chunk of it (5,000 words) to my supervisor, who will definitely give me very useful pointers and advice.
Is it insane to hope to have that done by Monday? Evening? Bear in mind that my current actual word count of specific sections is only a few hundred words, so it essentially means that I’m going to be writing 5,000 words of “good stuff”.
Actually, I must get that done by Monday. Time is running out… *panics*
There have been many, many tears the past few days. Many. Red eyes = my new look.
Lots of doubting myself; lots of trying to calm myself down.
I’ve actually been going through a lot of stuff, and I have to realise that it is just going to make the writing process easier.
Today I actually added to my “actual” dissertation sections with extended notes and mini-paragraphs.
I also realised that this is getting somewhere. There is hope.
Still haven’t “properly” written anything (as you have probably deduced, “proper” writing to me is, perhaps, writing at a more “advanced” stage), but I feel very close to it.
Tomorrow morning I shall look through a final book, then I shall print off some of my “refined” notes and quotes, and then… who knows? Maybe I’ll just gather my thoughts properly before I start my “actual” writing… or maybe I’ll just plunge into it. We’ll see.
Today has been a very slow day. I’m not feeling very well, though. I had a lovely lunch with a friend, and I woke up rather late. Washed my hair. Painted my nails. Meh.
I did get some stuff printed, and have been reading through a very relevant book.
I probably spent a large part of the daydreaming about how I’m going to feel so exhilarated once this is done and dusted, and how I’ll get to treat myself with a bottle of good wine (to share with my boyfriend) or with a really nice meal some place nice. Or with a truly relaxed NAP.
Tomorrow has to be a million times more productive.