Do You Feel Productive?
Well? Do ya punk?
When I started writing this post, I didn’t feel productive or lucky. I just felt behind, like I ALWAYS feel. I also felt a little angry, despite raising the stakes of dissertation completion, I’m not really pushing along any faster. My word surge at the beginning of AcBoWriMo is beginning to look increasingly like a coincidence rather than the result of an outspoken obligation. A few folks have discussed AcBoWriMo as being as much about timing as it is productivity. You have to be ready to output words, it doesn’t just happen because you’ll say it will happen. Productivity-wise I was pretty productive today: I revised my chapters in a more productive manner, using the choreography method in Helping Doctoral Students Write, (p. 92), I did some reading, and I added another 677 new words.
I think the problem with dissertation writing is that so much of the work is not measurable. I met with my diss advisor early this fall, and she told me she feels like I’m in the same place as I was a year ago. I’ve done a ton of work since then, but it’s all research fragments, reading, and processing. I want to think that this work is crucial to finishing, but it doesn’t feel valued by my advisor or institutions at large. So how do we measure progress in the process of writing the dissertation when so much of it isn’t fluid writing yet?