PhD work practices: back to the beginning.

The really dumb thing about doing a PhD is that you feel like you are continually on a loop back to the beginning of your journey. At least, this is what I feel like at the moment. Currently I am working on one of my narrative chapters. It is actually a really joyful experience because the participants have such interesting things to say and their interviews are so rich. The hardest thing for me to do will be to squeeze it all into 15000 words.

Notwithstanding my present joy, I feel that I’m always working from a position of beginnings. Learning how to read, learning how to write, learning how to edit, and learning how to think. It’s tiring. I’m wondering why at present I don’t have a sense of being experienced in my learning, and why this sense of ‘becoming’  (philosopher Heidegger’s idea and extended by Deleuze) is always a starting point. Why can’t I get it into my thick skull that I’m most of the way through, that the combined three years experience of reading, writing, thinking should really be coming into play here?

I feel like I’m on some kind of Twilight Zone nightmare feedback loop. Is it the procrastination that’s getting to me? I’ve had 2 excellent hours this morning flinging together my chapter. I’m 8000 words down, another 7000 to go, and I’m annoyed that I didn’t do this earlier. I should have something to send to my supervisor by the end of the month, which brings me to 4 chapters. I WAS hoping to submit 5, but I’ll get the next one in by the end of February.

Argh. Frustration time again. At least I’m working.


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