July 25, 2013: Unbelieveably, I’m Still Proposaling. Strangely, I’m Completely Faith-Filled and Confident

The Big Deal at this Juncture: These Are the Looming Deadlines

  • Friday, September 25th, 2013: At the latest, this is the date I figure I need to submit my final master’s thesis to my committee so that I can do my revisions and submit the final, revised thesis electronically to the university a week before the final deadline (the final deadline is Friday, November 15, 2013).
  • Friday, November 15, 2013: The day I MUST have submitted my MA thesis ELECTRONICALLY to the UNIVERSITY in order to earn my MA and graduate. This is THE, TRUE, UNIVERSITY DEADLINE. If this deadline is missed, then that is all she wrote, folks: DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200. I will not be missing this deadline. 🙂 I will be submitting AT LEAST 1 week before this deadline. Thank the Father!

Where I’m Presently at, As of Today

As of today, I am 70% done with the proposal. I [smartly] reconceptualized my project around December 15 of 2012, and with working full time and struggling a bit with creating a proposal to employ a pretty new literature review methodology, this is where I’m at.

I was LESS SCARED before I typed those deadline dates. But, strangely, I know I can finish, earn my MA, and graduate. I am a little bit nervous (progress has been INCREDIBLY slow), but I know I can complete this work.

My aim? To write a quality review that enhances my application to PhD programs.

Thesis-Related Work Accomplished Today–Any Deliverables???

No deliverables produced today.

Today I:

  1. Sat on the couch blocked in my writing, from 5 AM to 11 AM. Around 6 AM I began reading through writing helps, to try to get unstalled. I watched a sermon for encouragement and emotion management. I used the off-time (i.e. time that my writing was off) to communicate with loved ones.
  2. Revisited this blog for the first time since November 1, 2011 . . . the day I created it but never did anything with it
  3. Worked at my job from 1 PM to 7:40 PM
  4. Ate dinner
  5. I returned to the writing helps I was looking at this morning. These included:
    • Writing Analytically, 6th edition, by Rosenwasser and Stephen
    • Katherine Firth’s blog, “Research Degree Voodoo.” Particularly helpful were these posts:
      1. http://researchvoodoo.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/the-perfect-sentence-vortex-and-how-to-escape-it/
      2. http://researchvoodoo.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/stages-of-writing/
      3. http://researchvoodoo.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/perfectionism-is-the-least-of-your-problems/
      4. http://researchvoodoo.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/procrastination-is-not-your-fault/

My Accountability Partner Just Asked Me . . .

So, you’ve basically pulled an all-nighter but you don’t have any words drafted from doing so? There’s nothing you have that you can show me? So, what have you been doing instead of writing?

Deep exhale.

It’s very hard for me to explain, but I’ve been in this pattern for the last 8 days, probably. Before that, I was rocking along, getting words down. Then, I encountered a block which I haven’t yet gotten past, but that I am confident I will.

I know myself . . . so as I’m analyzing what’s happening with this block, I’m understanding what I need to get unblocked. The issue is, I’m trying to do top-down writing to instantly get stuff on the “dreaded, blank, white page” instead of doing the slow, tedious, bottom-up work (1) following the Single Method of Academic Reading and Writing to generate cite-able notes with which to draft and (2) writing from a Level 3 outline (see Rowena Murray’s Writing for Academic Journals).

The sad thing is,

I recognized this about 5 days ago, started the process of doing the bottom-up, prewriting work that’s needed, and then psychologically and thus physically ABANDONED bottom-up working to try to force words onto the page via a top-down (i.e. “write-it-from-the-top-of-the-head”) approach.

The good news is,

It’s not too late. I can stop . . . slow down . . . and stop trying to bypass the necessary and slow prewriting work it will take to get moving a again–the work that cannot be shown to others, that will make me look like a procrastinator, and that requires that I understand deeply that I am “the boss of me and my writing process” and that “I got this. Truly.”

Deep exhale.

Wish me luck.  : /


About Z. Sanders

I love to inspire and encourage, and I believe in counting the blessings (one will always be able to find SOMETHING to be down about, if one tries hard enough). A wife, mathematics educator, and mathematics education researcher, I love to learn and love to teach. I'm a tech-o-phile and avid reader, and I love to design and create systems to support creative work. I love trying new recipes almost as much as I love the Spanish language. A complete music aficionado, sometimes I'm a guitar student. I am trying to live with a faith God can SEE (not just one HE can hear). (I first heard this sentiment from Joel Osteen.) I am CONVINCED that kettle belling, line dancing, jogging, free weight lifting, exercise biking, and Barry's Bootcamp are THE combo! (Try it!). Those are important, because, well, if it's seafood or Mexican food, I'm in! Thanks for stopping by! Godspeed with your endeavors, and may you experience joy today. -- "Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." -- Bill Cosby

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