Sobriquet 39.11

Evidentially, I've written a chapter of my dissertation.

At least that's how my adviser referred to the thirty pages on Age of Iron I sent her last week. When I logged into my email account this morning and saw that she had sent me her impressions of the section I'd written, I felt the familiar wave of anxiety wash over me. As is the case for many people, I tend to find fault in my own writing and, consequently, I expect others--particularly those people in a position to judge whether or not my work possesses any redeemable quality--to dislike it as well. I also realize, having observed it firsthand, that one cannot allow such doubts to hinder his or her writing, so I try to persevere. Still, when I read that my adviser considers what I've written so far to be "excellent," I felt a tremendous sense of relief. Apparently I can write a dissertation. I mean, if the section I wrote on Age of Iron is of the quality of scholarship expected of a doctoral candidate, then I have shown that I am capable of doing what I need to do. That, of course, is the one thing I really needed. Just having that stamp of approval on my work--even pending revision--enables me to make a subtle but significant alteration to my mantra: rather than say I can do it, I can say I have done it. Keep it up! Since two of the biggest fears I have wrestled with since I began working on the dissertation over a year ago are A) that I would not get to the writing stage and B) that I would not be capable of producing the quality of criticism one must have in a dissertation, this bit of good news goes a long way towards building my confidence. There's no longer any point in fretting over whether I am capable of starting and, once started, producing the type of writing I need for the dissertation. I have done both effectively. Now it's just a matter of working steadily on the project, as I have done, until it is completed.


For tomorrow: Since I have some chores to do, try to fit in a modest amount of transcription, just like I did today.


minxy said…
Woo-fucking-hoo, indeed. I'm glad your advisor liked what you've done so far. I knew it was good all along.

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