0 for August

Sorry for the lack of posts over the past month. There are several reasons for my silence, but mostly:

1) I have been having massive writer’s block trying to put together my dissertation proposal. I had a spurt at one point, but then I found another dissertation from 2000 that is most of my idea, so I had to turn in another direction. I have also not been helped by the fact that…

2) My oldest son Henry has started 1/2 day kindergarden and youth soccer this fall. My youngest stays at home with me as well, so I have two kids in the mornings and one in the afternoon which means my writing is limited to 1hr blocks which are dictated by when Jack feels like napping that particular day.

It is difficult to just turn on the creativity for that one hour. Studying for comps was a little easier since I was mostly translating or summarizing my reading, and I could usually just pick that up where I left off.

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5 Comments on “0 for August”

  1. John Hobbins Says:

    You might have to figure out a way to get 4 hours to yourself after they go to bed or before they get up. Not necessarily every day, but as often as you need to, to get you over the hump.

    The other thing I would say: just set yourself a deadline for turning in the proposal. Draft it completely, this very day, and fine-tune it as often as you like between then and your fixed date.

    Big deal if it’s not perfect. It will be always be a work in progress. Even when you’ve finished the thesis, in a strange sort of way.

  2. Peter Bekins Says:

    John, all good advice. As I was finishing up comps I began to take an afternoon on the weekend to spend 2 or 3 hours at the coffee shop and work, that is really what I need to do so I can get out of the house and just focus.

  3. David Everson Says:

    Jerry Lund always told me that the best kind of dissertation is one that you can finish. He told me not to worry too much about critical excellence because it’s “just a dissertation.”

  4. anummabrooke Says:

    Hm, I think I need to take John’s advice on a hard little nut that I need to crack (and move on from).

    Peter, good luck and hang in.

  5. Carl Says:


    You might check out the helpful advice in P. J. Silvia’s, How to Write A Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing. In particular, Silvia stresses that the most important thing is just sitting down and forcing yourself to produce something for a certain amount of time every day.

    You’ll make it.

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