Back to the writing

Having found an apartment we could live with (or, rather, in) Husband and I headed back to the LA-area yesterday.  So, today I got back to the business of writing.  Right now I’m writing twice a day for half an hour.  So far, I’ve written a total of 6 hours since I started keeping track and have earned myself a sundae from Cold Stone Creamery.  Next reward comes at 10 hours when I get a new hardcover or two trade paperbacks or four mass-market paperbacks.

Having a couple of problems with registration and insurance at Grad School has reinforced my desire to get this damn thing done.  I don’t want to have to deal with the stupid university any more!  Who knows how many ways they can find to make my life complicated?  Best to graduate and be done with Grad School forever (except of course, from the annoying phone calls I’m sure to get from the alumni association).  It’s not the best reason in the world for getting my degree but I’ll take whatever gets me to sit down in front of the computer.

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Turns out, I like my current apt. and city just fine

Husband and I are here in the Bay Area looking for apartments.  I’m already homesick for the LA area and our current apt.  We’re having some difficulty finding a two-bedroom apartment with all of the amenities we currently have in a price range we can afford.  So, now we have to decide what our priorities are.  Plus, we may have to get a second car, depending on whether it will be reasonable for Husband to bike to work or not.  *sigh*

Thesis-writing is on hold while I’m out of town, but I did manage to get two hours in earlier in the weekwhich brought me up to five hours and when I get back I’m having my first reward:  a sundae at Cold Stone Creamery!  I wrote in half hour blocks twice a day and that worked pretty well.  I sent a paper draft to Advisor but he is going on vacation and writing a review with a post-doc and so can’t give me comments for a week or two.  😦  I still need to write the discussion section, though, so I can work on tht in the meantime.  And there’s always the lit. review chapter of the thesis.

I found further motivation to write when I had a kerfluffle with the university that is still getting straightened out.  And, I may be forced to take the student insurance even though I don’t live in Grad School City.  All of this makes me want to be DONE so I don’t have to deal with that kind of crap any more.

Reward Structure

In my last post, I talked about maybe setting up a reward structure for the number of hours I put into writing my thesis.  Here’s what I’m thinking right now:

  • any week I write on five days:  Baskin Robbins ice cream cone
  • 5 hours:  sundae at Cold Stone Creamery
  • 10 hours:  new hardcover book or two trade paperbacks or four regular paperbacks
  • 15 hours:  something from Paper Source (I’m a little bit of a stationery freak)
  • 20 hours:  something from Bath and Body works
  • 30 hours:  manicure and pedicure
  • 40 hours:  dinner at a nice restaurant
  • 50 hours:  something from Ann Taylor or other clothing store
  • 75 hours:  hair highlights
  • 100 hours:  massage
  • complete draft of lit. review:  afternoon tea
  • complete drafts of each of the other chapters:  dinner at a nice restaurant
  • paper submitted:  afternoon tea
  • thesis ready to hand to committee:  Kindle (I want one of these BAD)

This may change around a bit, especially when I start working on my thesis for more than 30 minutes at a time, but these are the goals I’m working toward right now.

Easier today

This is my second day in my new “I Will Finish This Damn Thing” plan and it was definitely easier today to get through the entire 30 minutes than it was yesterday.  I’m starting a routine where I get ready for writing by clearing off my table, making myself a mug of tea and grabbing my little yeast stuffed-organism to sit by my computer and then get down to business.  So far, it’s working well for getting me in the mindset of writing.

I’m thinking about setting up some rewards for achieving certain goals.  Like at 20 hours of writing, I get a manicure/pedicure and 50 hours of writing I get a massage.  I need to think about it a bit more.

I wrote on my thesis today

Shaking in my boots after CPP’s comment to my last post,  I began my plan to write everyday (btw, right now, everyday means every weekday).  Today I wrote for half an hour and sent my most recent draft of the paper to Advisor.  I set a timer, and stopped when the timer went off.  I don’t expect to get comments from Advisor before tomorrow, so I will work on the materials and methods which isn’t finished or the lit review chapter of my thesis which is barely started until I get comments back.

Hopefully I will have staved off the tickle attack for one more day.

P.S.  My new avatar is curtesy of this site.  I don’t actually watch Mad Men, but it was fun making my avatar.  In the full body image, I’m wearing white gloves, carrying a little black purse and holding a martini.

Thesis writing

It’s much more difficult to make myself sit down and write my thesis than I thought it would be.  Why?  I want to get the damn thing done, after all.  I want my degree.  I don’t want it hanging over my head any longer.

I think the thing still scares me.  The defense scares me.  On top of that, having moved away, it already feels like I’ve finished, even though I haven’t really.  The thing to do, I suppose, is just to say that I’m going to work on my thesis everyday at X time for at least Y amount of time no matter what.  I’ll start out small, with half an hour and work my way up.  I know I can’t possibly write my thesis in half an hour a day without it taking a ridiculously long time to write, but the idea is to just get myself in the habit of sitting down to work everyday and to use an increment of time that seems really, really manageable.  Then, I can work myself up to larger increments of time.  I do want to get this thing done, really, I’m just having difficulty finding the motivation to do it right now.

Back from Iowa

Well, I’m back from the middle of nowhere (otherwise known as Grandma’s house where there is no internet) and feeling like I really ought to get working on that thesis of mine.  There are two reasons for this:  Janet’s post and an email from Advisor wondering about my “timeline.”   These two items provided the kick in the pants I needed to get moving on that oh-so-important document I have hanging over my head.