Writing is intoxicating. That’s the conclusion I’ve come to in the past few weeks. Writing a thesis is like no research or writing project I’ve done so far in my academic career, yet it has been an easy transition. I’ve learned more in the past few weeks than I probably did in some of my undergraduate classes, but those classes brought me to where I am today.
Hello world, yes this is a long overdue update on my blog. It has been a while, hasn’t it? I suppose I have decent reasons. I am, after all, working on a thesis. Still, I have been meaning to write some time now.
In the thesis world, all is well. I have completed drafts of two chapters, am working on my third chapter, out of either four or five total chapters. The linchpin that will decide that is how much more I want to write in each chapter. A five chapter dissertation equates to about 3000-3500 words per chapter. Taking one out obviously gives me more words to work with. Who’d have thought I’d be feeling cramped for space?
My topic, as I’ve discussed some before, is a comparative study of civil rights. I am comparing the U.S. civil rights movement with a civil rights movement that occured in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s.
One of the interesting parts of working on the thesis is being so wholly devoted to one thing. My life revolves around the thesis. I wake up, eat, and start working on it. I research in the afternoons, and then burn the midnight oil writing and editing. I have begun to lose my sense of time; I am finding I often do not know what day of the week it is, and sometimes am surprised to find how late in the day it is. Eating has become an inconvenience at times, because it takes me away from perhaps a train of thought. Sleep too is rather annoying–don’t worry, I still am getting plenty of it though!
If all that sounds horrible, well I can see how it might seem that way. But the process is incredibly rewarding. There are plenty of moments of frustration and those are often times to get up and move around a little! But when a breakthrough happens, a lightbulb comes on, a connection is made…whatever the case may be, then the hours of work, late nights, it all becomes worth it. I think it will definitely be hard to turn that thesis in; free time is going to take on a whole new meaning.
Now all this being said, I do still take time off and have breaks! I think you HAVE to do that both for your sanity, but also clearing your mind can help push you through a difficult section. One such diversion for me was watching some of the Olympic events. Watching the Olympics on this side of the pond was been good fun. There has been a lot of excitement in the air. At one time I had thought about trying to head ovet to London, if only for a day or two. But six weeks of traveling in June and July meant that I was behind on my writing, not to mention watching the pennies a bit. Still, just being in Belfast has been fun. My church and friends have also been a great escape from the otherwise consuming world of the thesis, and much needed too.
And there I shall end my update. There is more to say; though not much because the conversation would quickly turn back to writing, and you are probably tired of that by now. I know I am, it’s time for some sleep!