Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The distorting effect of the home stretch

I've slipped into a strange sort of mental place at this stage in my PhD. I've got a chapter to re-write, then an introduction and a conclusion. I should be feeling motivated and some weight coming off my shoulders. I don't, and I've only just realised that I've just lost some perspective. It's a rare moment of stopping, the TV is on and someone is working out why someone has been murdered in the background. I'm wondering why my confidence in my writing, and even my grasp of some of the concepts I've been working with has slipped. I've got an awful feeling an external examiner will read the thesis and will go well, it's *OK* but...

I think editing your own work, and returning to a very early draft of an important chapter is wearing. I anticipate the material and ideas I have only discussed with my supervisors being exposed to others, and wonder if it's all smoke and mirrors. On other occasions, I go back to my thesis, hoping to magically 'see' those insights that I simply need to foreground in order to make it all fall into place. I am bored with bits (lots?) of it, and feel that I'm stating the obvious.

Oh dear, I am in need of perspective I will only get at the other end. I do realise that when I'm away from the material I do have the potential to be excited again, and to engage with new ideas. It's all still there, but I need to see this through. Practically, I think like most people in my situation I need to carry on and not be so hard on myself. I'm working hard in my full time job in HE, and not doing much fun. That affects perspective. Onwards.