October 23, 2013: (1) I successfully moved to Texas, so . . . (2) the proposal got submitted (!!!) Thus . . . (3) I’m back to posting here! :-)


I’m back!

My apologies for the major hiatus: It was time to move to Texas so that I could move into a room in a family member’s house and just write. Very gracious of my family, yes? That meant I had to pack up my EVERYTHING and move it across the country — while trying to finish my long, long, LONG overdue proposal.

Oh, my, was moving my EVERYTHING a lot of work. MAJOR shout out to my dad and my spouse. You two were incredible.

Something had to give. Internet-related activity, including reflecting and blogging here, “gave.”

I’m glad to be able to say, however, that . . .

A Full Draft of the Proposal Is in!!!

Though I submitted a little while back, it feels like an early birthday gift (my birthday is tomorrow 🙂!).

I think the sequence of emoticons below captures what it was like for me the hours surrounding my submission of that proposal.


That final image, the warrior. 🙂


Yeah, for me that warrior image, placed there, is heartwarming. (Get it? 🙂 Heart? Then sun? Juxtaposed to . . . )

But in all seriousness, wow.











Like . . . in the face of CRAZY “evidence” that it just might not be happening for me. Phew! Soooooooooo glad I never really bought in to that. So glad.

This video FABULOUSLY exemplifies this type of experience (persisting when much says there’s no reason to because you are not succeeding): https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=377244189041061.

Mmm. Man! Moving stuff.

So my question is: Who — or what 🙂 — is your Diamond Dallas Page ? Are you your OWN DDP?

What’s Next For Me, My Thesis Project, and the Next Post Here

I will be participating in AcWriMo (Academic Writing Month), which occurs in November. Will you be? Please click here for details about AcWriMo: http://www.phd2published.com/2012/10/15/announcing-acwrimo/.

In order to write as much as prudent each weekday in November (which is what AcWriMo is about), I’ll be taking the next few days to position myself in EVERY way to just sit and perform MAXQDA analyses and then . . . write, write, write!

. . . And then . . .perform more MAXQDA analyses . . . and then . . . write, write, write! . . . And then . . . (Well, you get the picture.)

Positioning Myself To Do and Get THE MOST out of AcWriMo

Hmmmmm. If I’m going to participate *for real* in AcWriMo, authentically, then that means that by October 31st I need to . . .

  • design my code book,
  • create my code book in Excel,
  • import my code book into MAXQDA,
  • do precoding of my PDF articles, and
  • do preliminary coding.

So, I can’t design my code book until I do a host of things such as (1) determine ahead of time as much as possible what I need to be able TO DO WITH MY CODES and (2) smartly hold off on creating a code system UNTIL I have sufficiently read all of the spanking new literature about smart practices, best practices, mis-moves, and bad-scary pitfalls that people are writing about now that they can reflect on this new methodology we are commonly using.

This is what I’ve been doing the past week or so, along with writing whatever components and outlines I can for the thesis write-up.

And to think (shudder): I almost, ALMOST, told myself that I had no time to read those articles. I shudder — SHUDDER! — to think what would have happened had I not learned the crazy-amazing, project-saving-level, sanity-preserving tips I’ve gleaned in just two days of skimming these articles! OMG. Headshake. What if I had not been open and willing to read . . . Well. We just won’t go there. Because, no, I didn’t talk myself out of allocating precious time to reading these articles. All is okay. (Dramatic phew!).

A “100% Organized-and-out-of-My-Own-Way” Video Post Tomorrow

My aim for tomorrow’s post is to create and upload a video documenting how tomorrow morning I take the time to diagnose self-created impediments in my writing practice, get EVERYTHING organized at least to a level of 9 on a “she’s organized” scale from zero to 10. This level of organization is honestly necessary because of the nature of my methodology and so that once AcWriMo commences on November 1st, there’s no “Oops! I have to drive across town to the library to get so-and-so book,” or “Oops! I need to take an hour of today’s writing time to find that document I lost,” or “Whoops! I gotta change my coding scheme/system a bit, then read some more in the MAXQDA manual because I need to . . .”

You see it!: None of that = WRITING!

No, no, NO! THAT’S A BIG NO-NO: It’s AcWriMo.

ASIDE: I’m sure some November weekdays as the day is drawing down I’ll be thinking of “AcWriMo” as “Ack! Write. ‘Mo!’ (As in more!!!).

Jokes aside, it’s AcWriMo on purpose, and purposely NOT AcReadMo or even AcCodeMo. (That’s what makes it so effective and useful! If you can move yourself into that space where writing is all you are about/for for half a day or a few hours a day, then being forced to “write only,” somehow you FIND a way to write what you thought you could not write without looking up just one more reference . . .

And that’s what a dissertation boot camp -like setup can do for you:

  1. It can cause you to do all you can to set yourself up extremely well to be able to just go to your writing space (physically, emotionally, affect-wise, psychologically, and cognitively) like clockwork and write for, say, 4 hours with no searching, significant amount of reading, etc. but with JUST WRITING. You can always do those things after AcWriMo carved-out time you’ve designated for yourself. And if you don’t get this stuff done before the next AcWriMo time, it can benefit you to say to yourself, “Tough cookie. I’ll have to write on something else for this AcWriMo block today.” If you train your brains and heart to know that you don’t violate writing times–you just DON’T–then you can form the habit and expectation. Others disagree about this level of strictness. I say whatever works for you, do that!!! We are all different. 🙂
  2. It can create true commitment on your part to behave in a special way for the month . . . i.e. to daily spend 99.9999999% of your academic-related behavior/efforts in writing . . . because, well, that’s what the month is FOR. December will come soon enough, you tell yourself, so it’s okay to move into that special mental space where you are just only about writing during the times you’ve carved out as writing time. NOTE: This isn’t always possible. Sometime a writing-intensive intervention is not possible for you at the time, because it’s coding time or something. But if you know ahead of time to plan for a writing-intensive intervention, it can be really powerful.
  3. So, as a result it can cause you to just write and write and write and love seeing your document fill up with writing!

As you can tell, I absolutely LOVED the one dissertation boot camp I was blessed to participate in at my university. It was . . . heavenly. I got so . . . bleeping . . . much . . . done.

This is because I went super strict on my own self about what the diss boot camp was for (no one there asked me to only write). But anyhoo, oh, the stuff that I’d been trying to get done for WEEKS that I somehow quickly got done there at the boot camp.

I attribute it to my having moved into that special head space. Fidelity to the writing block time. Fidelity! Everyone else around me was in that same space and had MUCH, MUCH to do just like me. And everyone around me was ON THE GRIND. It was really clear: It was like the environment was speaking, and saying “This is not the place and ESPECIALLY NOT THE TIME to not be writing as efficiently and quickly as possible and prudent for you right now. It’s been 15 minutes with that book: Put that book down! Too late! Should have done that during a non-writing time. Write a note to yourself, do it after today’s writing block, and now I wan to see you in the motion of typing!”

No on said anything of the sort, but it just felt like that. Seriousness of focus and purpose so that stuff REALLY got done. LOVED IT! It gave me so much . . . calm.

Let’s hope the “virtual” version works toward the same end!

Well . . . 🙂

It’s good to be back. 

I am focused. This is all I see, now, regarding my research project:  

Yup! Fabulous! It’s coming! 🙂


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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