Dissertation Drudgery


Writing one’s dissertation shouldn’t be this difficult. I suppose back in the day it was a much more focused effort because you studied at a school that had walls. And in a library. And had face to face meetings with your chair and committee. You walked places and research required serious, incredible efforts (so I hear from older, wiser sages of PhD past).

Now in this age of technology and “the internets” — you can research and write, conference call and skype, from the comforts of your own home. I am confident from experience that this creates drudgery in the process. There is no clear separation in the life balance. Kids. Work. Husband. Church. Dinner. Volunteering. Running. Field Trips. Conferences. Swimming. Lacrosse. Lunch. Meetings. Parties. Biking. Breakfast. Oh, and sleep. Sleep. Naps too.

I saw this graphic online the other day on a website that is meant to inspire and motivate doctoral candidates in their dissertation process. I laughed hysterically and saw myself in each picture. My goal was to have submitted my chapter 2 draft by today. December 31, 2012. And, well, I think I fall into the despair/drudgery at the moment. Sometimes panic sets in. But it comforts me to know that at some point I’ll get to print. Or, well, upload and publish to ProQuest.

2013 – Please bring me your writing juju and defeat all levels of drudgery, procrastination, panic, and despair. Dissertation, I will own you. Be prepared to be defended.


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