After my proposal defense, my advisor told me that he prefers to see dissertation drafts in units of first and second halves. Just, whenever it’s ready. “Students keep asking me to read each chapter, and I will, but you don’t have to do that, AV.” You playin, right?
If you know me (or, I guess, yourself??), I’m completely neurotic about all such things academic, especially something like, say, my dissertation. While I appreciate the vote of confidence, I also appreciate my predispositions toward both procrastination and panic. I looked at him with shock and awe (read: sheer horror) and assured him that he would be receiving every single chapter from me (and that I’d be looking forward to feedback on each?!). Should I laugh or cry?
It took me a day and a half to organize a dissertation timeline. I’ve (only?) had three panic attacks or so. My first attempt left me graduating late 2017. Uh, no. The second time looked good until I realized (and only did so thanks to your posts, paige and erin!) that I had planned zero time for receiving any edits or feedback, much less incorporating them into, say, the version that will actually allow me to graduate. The third time — the one I will be utilizing — sets a pace I’m not completely sure I can achieve.
I know that creating such a plan is the system that will get me across the finish line, hopefully with some semblance of sanity in tact. But it was just a bit jarring to see my life for the next two years reduced to two pages of due dates. Enough to seriously entertain the thought that there isn’t enough time. A beginner’s lesson in submitting to the fact that there are several things that will have to be “good enough.” I love my project (even though there’s way too much of it) and of course I’m going to try to do what I refer to as my “good good” writing (the 8-days-out-of-the-month perfectionist in me won’t allow anything else), but I’ve also officially lowered my expectations. Otherwise I’ll be in dissertation purgatory for the next 4 years instead of 2 (or, by technical calendar count, 1.33 … oh dear).