For the past two months I’ve been in thesis-writing mode. Back in December I set myself the goal of finishing the first draft of my thesis by the end of March, and I told myself that it didn’t matter if the draft was quick-and-dirty, since I’ll have many more drafts before I’m done. However, I’ve found that it does matter: there are days when I’m completely stumped in a paragraph, and though I could just skip it and get back to it later, I feel I can’t. It’s not that I want it to be perfect (I know it won’t be) but that I’m building the argument piece by piece, and I need to settle each point, in paper as well as in my mind, before proceeding.
About two weeks ago I started writing The Hard Part, and my pace slowed down significantly. I can’t plan The Hard Part as I planned the rest of the thesis: it merges all the threads in the document and I can’t tell how each sentence should be written until I get to it. These are days of alternating bouts of elation and exasperation. Thursday was great because I disentangled myself from several thorny issues and the whole path ahead seemed clear and simple; Friday was awful because I couldn’t get a single sentence out.
So I just wanted to share that I’m learning to appreciate days of small successes. Today I stepped out of Friday’s problems and chipped away a piece of the puzzle. I managed to write a couple of pages. I feel I should’ve written more, but I’ll take what I can.