Sunday, 17 January 2016

Deadlines and to-do lists

Hello everyone! I've had a stressful start to my year, but I've made a lot of progress on my thesis in these first couple of weeks of January. I kept meaning to blog about it, but I discovered Neko Atsume and have been busy curating my cats.

I've just finished the latest draft of my novel, which involved considerable re-writing and a lot of new content, and I've also begun revisions on the third (and final) chapter of my dissertation. Unfortunately this meant I only had a few days off over Christmas and New Year, but as I'm so close to finishing the thesis I didn't resent it too much and made it up to myself with long naps in which I dreamed about shortbread Stormtroopers.

So far this year I've met all the deadlines I set myself. It has only been two weeks though, so there's plenty of time for me to relapse. As I'm planning on submitting on 31 March, I really can't give myself any leeway on deadlines anymore. In the past my supervisors have been pretty flexible and generous, but now there's only eleven (holy shit - eleven!) weeks left and I don't have time for my own crappy excuses.

I've been making a 'to do' list for the coming weeks, and at the top of that list is filling out my Intention to Submit form, which (apparently) sets things in motion, like alerting my supervisors of my intention to submit - in case they didn't already know. So that's pretty exciting. And nerve-wracking. And stressful. Who knew a simple form could evoke such a range of emotions! Sometimes I feel relieved (thank god!) and other times I just feel anxious (oh dear god...).

Other to-dos include: re-drafting my introduction and conclusion, finding a proofreader, writing my abstract, starting a vegetable garden and watching One Punch Man, since it seems to be all the rage and I've already binged hard on Jessica Jones.

I've also been watching Emma Cole's YouTube videos. Emma recently completed her doctorate in the UK, and her vlogs and other videos on academic life, thesis-ing, and her puppy Marcel are good motivators for people like me approaching the finishing line, although she seems to be a thousand times more organised that I ever could be. She has a box for all her neatly organised drafts, with special paper clips, whereas I use the desk-swamp method, which is as questionable as it sounds.

Let me know what else you'd like me to blog about. I'll share some of my research and writing, of course, but I suspect there is also a mundane fascination with pagination and margins. Those kinds of things make my knees weak. I can't be the only one.