I've been quiet here, I know. It's a mixed silence, some of it imposed largely out of respect for the devastation in Japan. What sorts of things that I normally write about here have any importance in the face of the aftermath there? I've watched the headlines, counted my blessings. Inched forward with writing elsewhere -- thesis, primarily, and other notes to self.
I'm on the home stretch, despite my advisor's rejecting my most recent plan to get my page count where it needs to be. We don't do analysis in this program, she said; it's not required. By which she meant, no, I don't want a report. I want more of the story.
So I went back to my draft. She'd looked it over and sent good comments, so I had new ideas on how I might make Chapter 6 grow. Early last week, I forwarded a revision to her. Now, with Chapter 7 under construction, I have just nine pages or so to go.
It's a relief -- April 1st is my goal for the final chapter -- but it's also meant a certain amount of living under a rock (beyond reading the online news). I'm taking it in stints. Each weekday, a morning session, an afternoon session. Nights off. At the worst part of the struggle to get Chapter 6 started, I was staring at the screen at all hours, still getting nowhere.
To counter the feeling that I'm turning into an earwig, I've imposed mandatory outings that involve interaction with people. To get lunch with new acquaintances during the week (a girl has to eat). To peruse an art exhibit on a Saturday afternoon, to attend the symphony with D on a weeknight, even to ski. For that last one, I took the thesis with me and nearly got carsick working on it while D drove into the mountains, but it was worth the effort. I wrote until I was nauseated and then skied until my legs threatened to buckle. Went back home with a clear head, which, above all, is what I need to keep my writing brain moving.
It's not what I expected my writing process to be, but it's true that you can't write well if you spend all your time with your attention turned within. So I'll take it, even if the workaholic in me keeps tapping my shoulder and pointing at the time.
Nine pages. The end's in sight.
Addendum 3/22: Airline tickets for the defense have been purchased. No turning back now!
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