Thursday, 30 October 2008

a period in life with no goals is an illusion (for me at least)

As said elsewhere and before, lots of milestones the last couple of weeks/month. September tenth made it a year since I graduated, and October tenth a year ago was my first day physically in front of a classroom, no funny business. November 3rd was the day on which some indefensible behaviour got me unto the track of writing a doctoral thesis. It makes me feel like I should take a moment to let this all sink in, because I really haven’t had anything like that for a while now.

Did I? Will I? (Right, not bloody likely.)

Emotionally, psychologically, academically, I’ve grown more this past year than I think I did while still in university, which is very possibly just proof that the student world is a safe one, and a student’s view narrow. Shame on me.

So I’m approaching the one-year-anniversary of my attempt at a doctoral thesis and have admittedly very little to show for it. (An introduction and a first chapter.)

With November and National Novel Writing Month approaching, I got an October word challenge writing for the thesis. I said yes, because that’s how my brain approaches challenges. The goal for this month was officially to finish a chapter for the thesis (I wasn’t going to reveal the word count that I was actually aiming for for fear of sounding na├»ve, but I’ll risk it and admit I’m 3000 words short of my 25000 word goal). I probably won’t make that 25K before the month ends, but I do have a chapter. I’m not completely happy with it, and November is going to be NaNoReMo for me, besides just NaNoWriMo, but it’s nice to get some work done. The introduction had value because it helped me figure out what I was writing about and where my boundaries were. The chapter has value because it gives me something to show for my work, which is a psychological necessity.

Because 25000 words on an academic subject is insane if you have to do it besides a fulltime day job, next target is a more careful one: chapter 2 by mid January (I’m not saying the end of December, but I’m aiming for it).

At which point I’ll admit I’d be really annoyed with me if I were my student.

Am I enjoying myself? Weirdly enough, I am.
Am I going to crash? I’ve been able to avoid it since I got tackled by a cold last month, but knock on wood.

When you think of me, this November, think of me reading. You’re not going to be too far off. (I have the new KJ Parker waiting. :P) If you see me scribbling fiction, ignore it. I'm not aiming for 50K. At all.