Monday, July 25, 2011

Brass Tacks

As I've been gimping along on my PhD thesis/dissertation for the last few years, I've enjoyed the work. Most of it, anyway. I like most of the reading, and I even enjoy writing. I like writing chapter drafts, and I like writing conference papers. But now, I'm entering a new arena: the realm of final, polished versions of articles and chapters. Right now, I'm trying to finish the article that I wanted to finish In April, but here I am now, in July, hoping to finish in the next couple of weeks.

I have feedback from my supervisor and from my writing group partner (can I call it a group if there are only two of us?). They both have very different feedback (perhaps because one is American and one is British?), but they both seem to think I am in sight of the finish line.

But there is still a lot to do, and, for me, it's the hardest part. I am not someone who writes quickly without mistakes. I have to go back over text again and again, fixing typos and changing language. Thank goodness I enjoy revision.

But final revision? When I know it has to be spot on and that my citations must be perfect? Well, that's just leaves me anxious. It reminds me of moving house. You know, when you've taken care of the big stuff and feel as if you've been very productive, but, somehow, there is still all of this crap lying around in the corners that you have no idea what to do with.

The difference for me now is that I can't just throw all of the messiness out. I have to deal with it. So off I go!

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