Thursday, September 20, 2007

Writing = Frustration

When I write (which is all the freaking time), I keep a log of all the time I've spent editing and composing it. I do this to remind myself just how long it actually takes to write a piece from start to finish so I won't over-commit myself to publications and conferences. It's a bit anal retentive but what can I say...that's who I am anyhow.

My log from this summer is depressing. It has taken me close to three months to write one, 30 page chapter. Okay, so this isn't any ordinary chapter - it's the first chapter of my dissertation, which is sort of a big deal. But usually it takes me anywhere from 3 weeks to a month to churn out a well edited article or conference presentation. Which is exactly why I am going BONKERS with this first chapter: it is still in the "shitty first draft" stage where things make little sense and I repeat the same words and sentence structures over and over again trying to figure out what the hell I'm writing about.

And guess what? This shitty rough draft (using Ann Lamont's words, I believe) needs to magically turn into a beautiful, well composed dissertation chapter by this Friday since I have a meeting with one of my committee members. He is like a God to me and I hate to let him down or lose his respect.

I told my advisor about my situation and she said this is what happens when you go to write your first chapter...and the reason why a lot of people drop out at this point in the program. That is definitely not my plan, but I can now see why people give up. I will push on as I always do but still, I hate not being in top form. The perfectionist in me wants to strangle the writer in me right now.

And to top this off, I just read through a draft of a chapter I submitted to a hiring committee...only to find some minor errors in it. ARGH. Writing sucks.

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