It’s a weird sensation, finishing the dissertation.  I think somewhere in the back of my mind I never thought it would end.  With that I’m also not sure I knew exactly how much definition it gave my life.  It was *always* on my mind in one way or another.

It’s been the first thing on my mind in the morning, and the last when I go to bed at night.

And now it’s done.  Granted, it’s still on my mind but not in that pressure cooker way it was before – you know, the one where you feel like your brain is going to implode from the pressure?  And you can’t wait until it’s over?

A friend tonight compared my depression at finishing to post-partem and my dissertation to a baby.  (Well, loosely – I storta threw in the baby part myself.)  I don’t think that’s too far from the truth, although in many ways I think the dissertation isn’t  a newborn, it’s more like my first child just left for kindergarten.  That would be about right time wise.  Five years working on this project, and it’s likely I’ll work on it a few more trying to turn it into a book.  And now I’m dealing with what to do with an empty house during the day.

(This is actually a really good metaphor because I spent the better part of today wondering what I was going to do with myself.)

So as I was killing brain cells watching stupid TV soap opera dramas (Desperate Housewives.  What?  Don’t judge.) I decided I knew what I really missed.  I miss writing.  I miss that push I’ve constantly had in the back of my mind to produce, that urge no matter what to get to the computer and get something out.  I didn’t realize it but that push is what kept me going through the dissertation.  It wasn’t anything more than simply my desire to write, the one and only desire that has stayed with me for my entire life.

And then I had the best thought of all.

I don’t have to stop writing.

In fact, I have more time to write things I really enjoy.

Now, if I could only figure out what that is, I’d be set.

So I’m going to commit myself to writing everyday for the rest of the month and see what comes out of that.

To be continued . . .


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  1. #1 by sara on April 5, 2011 - 10:53 pm

    i’m still pre-dis writing, but i was thinking the same thing about writing every day. there are so many things i do every day: i draw, i keep a journal, i make audio recordings, i check fark…. i can’t help but think i could tack on just one more every day thing. i don’t particularly enjoy writing; i’m better at the thinking stuff up part. but i’d like to get to the point where i’m psychically comfortable with the oncoming dissertation AND i feel like i can write something other than it. i’m looking forward to seeing where this takes you!

  2. #2 by My Reflecting Pool on April 6, 2011 - 11:49 am

    Well I can say this without hesitation: whatever habits you develop before you start writing the dissertation are going to be the ones you keep as you’re working on it. So I would say write everyday, even if it’s just a little thought here or there about what you’re reading. That helped me a lot – being able to go back to my notes as I was working and seeing what I was thinking through the process. Often, those notes helped keep me going when I wanted to just scrap the whole thing.

    I am really looking forward to pushing myself to write. Should be interesting to see what comes of it. It’s already making me think differently as I go through the day. “Oh I could write about this” is a constant thought (and is way better than “OMG I don’t have a job!”) 🙂

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