I am a walking cliche today. Or, a typing one. I am at a coffee shop – blogging. Double cappuccino, 2%, asiago bagel with hummus, blogging about blogging about grad school. Is this being basic? Is that what the kids call it?

I’m here because my condo is killing my groove and killing the dis. Okay, I’m killing to dis- but the condo is my weapon of choice. The killer was the Never-gonna-be-Doctor Jones, in the spare bedroom, with the Netflix.

I had a conversation with one of the PhD faculty, Dr. W, and she told me that it was okay not to write everyday – I just had to engage everyday. Not engaging leads to dissertation death. Every day spent examining, planning, reading was a productive day. She told me not to beat myself up for not writing. Writing for writing sake is not productive. Good advice, huh? I wish I had taken it. After my archive visits, I basically punished myself for not IMMEDIATELY writing by shaming myself into ignoring everything. My dissertation is on life support. Not dead, but close.

I had high hopes of getting a chapter done over the winter break, but I had two sets of parents come in, and a semester’s worth of home neglect. Those are just excuses, though. The real problem was that I lacked focus and discipline. Seriously, how hard is it to get up and devote a few hours to something you are good at and find interesting? I’m note sure what my problem was, but I needed to fix it fast. I want to graduate in August, damnit. I want to finally get that sweet title and my wizard robe. That’s not going to happen unless I can find some of the old Macy – the driven one who can’t stop telling people about her research.

So, how do I revive this dissertation? Get out of the fucking house. Prime the pump. Write a little blog post, set an intended page goal, and then fucking WRITE THE DISSERTATION. It’s hard, but I get to write about the Great Depression, Hitler, Huey Long, Hallie Flanagan, and agitprop theatre. You know, the stuff that makes my heart sing.

This is a mea culpa post to myself, and my sickly dissertation. Tomorrow’s topic: my first archive trip ever!


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