Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sense of futility

So this is my first official contributor post and what a way to begin (sorry). I was gone for half of July and it has completely screwed up the flow & schedule I had for myself. I hoped to jump back on the wagon today and now that the day is over I don't know where it all went. I miss being in an academic environment and the focus that it allows me to have on my project. I feel my brain has turned to mush and I feel unmotivated and unfocused. I'm four hours away from school and with finances the way they are, I wasn't able to keep the small room I was renting near school for the days that I spent there. Our public libraries leave lots to be desired, the closest university is an hour away, and generally I don't do well in coffee shops. I miss university libraries, I miss conversations with other university folks (other academics?) because even if we're not speaking the same language, the conversation gets my intellectual juices flowing. I need to figure out how to re-create my writing, thinking, and focus space here in my house. This is a house that needs desperate cleaning and major yard work. I need some time at the gym. Sometimes I wish I didn't work, sometimes I wish I worked more so that our financial situation would be more secure. I hope tomorrow will be a better day and I hope I will finally return to the draft of chapter 2. What do you all do to get yourself back on track and motivated when you're heart just can't get into it?


Billie said...

Hi, smrhope! Welcome to DBC. You sound discouraged, and you seem to have a lot that is discouraging going on in your life . . . let me give you some words of encouragement if I can (and I hope they are encouraging).

All you can do is what you can do. Some of us have jobs and families and financial issues, and the rest of us? Well, I think they are lying. (just a joke) . . . but we all have *something* that gets in the way of writing the dissertation. Maybe it's laundry, the kids' soccer games, paying the mortgage . . . whatever. There's always something.

But just put one foot in front of the other. It might take a while, but you'll get there. You will. Just keep at it.

But to get (re)motivated? I do some freewriting. I might blog something. I just start my fingers moving across the keyboard. I write as fast as I can without stopping to edit myself. I do-- in the Anne Lamott fashion of freewriting-- vomit all over my page (metaphorically speaking). :-)

Once I have all the garbage in my head on the page, then I feel confident moving forward with the writing.

I hope that helps. Hang in there!

jerrysdaughter said...

Oh boy it is so hard to keep going sometimes. I have hit 2 lows during my many years of doc study. Which demanding of time and $$ as its been I have loved.

One came after my father died. I had to take a semester off then and it was almost impossibly hard to start reading and writing again. I had an independent study to finish and somehow just pushed my way through. I was going to say "toughed it out" but I was not all that tough. In fact I cried a lot! The second was after a disabling episode of sciatic pain that came not long after. What was that about mind-body connection? :)

Billie is write about the one foot in front of the other. No heroics just plod along and aha, you finally get somewhere.

She also is onto something with the freewriting. Write anything. A memo. An essay about why you can't write. Read a really good article and write one idea that it stimulated. Go for it SMR you can do it.

Jackattack's mom said...

Don't forget to reward yourself for all that you have already accomplished. You've made it this far!
Like Billie said life is more than the dissertation, but you will finish just connect the dots between hear and there one at a time.