Friday, July 20, 2007

What's Going On Here Then?

One of the problems about blogging - especially those prone to mental spirals of second guessing other people and what they may think about you and what they might think about you if they knew that you were thinking about what they might think about you etc etc (all of this is essentially introspective, of course, despite the putative focus on readers 'out there') - is that when you make some sort of announcement about what you are doing or going to do, you feel obliged to follow it up later and tell your readers how it went. You are never quite sure whether you are simply revealing your own essential narcissism in providing readers with some form of 'update' on your own progress - did anyone really read what I mentioned below? does anyone really care about what I said about it anyway? if I explain what has happened will I then look absurdly self-important - as if I imagine visitors to this site give a monkeys about what I said or what I have done?

Anyway, given that I (rather unwisely it turns out) indicated that I was about to submit my thesis (which I now struggle to refer to without the prefix 'that fucking...') and have not yet, as promised, filled this site with acrobats, lions and fireworks, I feel that some explanation is in order.

The explanation is that I have not yet submitted that fucking thesis. I was, as indicated below, proof-reading the damn thing (and thought, therefore, that I was all finished apart, perhaps, from some minor typo correcting) - so when I was reading through the penultimate chapter and lost all confidence in one of the major arguments and realised that I needed to do a little more work on it, you can imagine that I was a little disappointed. That is, of course, an understatement - I was (and am, though it's getting better) rather upset about it. Still, after some considerable degree of distress and something verging on sustained round-the-clock, mild- to-medium terror which lasted for about a week(and in these situations, a blow to the confidence can quickly spiral into a process in which you lose all confidence - which, indeed, in this case, it did) I now feel able to face the thing and tinker around with it again without feeling that I want to run off into the woods, never to return to civilisation. Don't know when I'm going to submit. I'm not far off. I just have to improve what I argue in one of the chapters and then make sure that it still fits well into the rest of the thesis. I think I need a break from it though, before I can make that final push - so I'm going South (not running away - I'll be travelling in a dignified and controlled manner for the most part) to the sea, where the friendly dogs run free, where the mums cook you meals and where fewer people ask me every day whether I have handed in my fucking thesis yet.

What I've learned from this whole thing, is that it's never wise to make public predictions about when you're going to finish a piece of work.

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