Day -72

Didn’t get much writing done today. I threw out unnecessary bits of paper. Tomorrow I’m going to sort out what I need for the next chapter. I must remember that

1) At this level I don’t need to come up with new theory

2) good writing is good editing

I found this YouTube video useful. I spent today watching quite a few of the videos on this channel.

Day -73

These posts are more for me to keep up to date with what needs to be done, with a few sideline musings – but not too many as I need to stay focused.

Intro – Few edits

Chapter 1 – Needs restructuring and more work

Chapter 2 – Haven’t rewritten

Chapter 3- Haven’t yet received feedback

Chapter 4 – Just submitted but I’m thinking I’ve written way too much for a project of this scale.

Chapter 5 – Findings and Discussions – my task from now until the 28th August. Hopefully I will get this done before then and move onto

Chapter 6 – Conclusions.

Then I put it all together and rewrite it again.

And then I put it together with the other section and edit it again.

Then I submit the damn thesis.

Then hopefully I will have someone to mark it and graduate by Christmas!

Then I can move on with my life.



Day -75

Ok so I have my ”paper edits” but spent today spring cleaning.  Here are two things I need:

1) a secretary – imagine how quickly I could get this typed out if I could just dictate my edits to someone.

2) not to get sidetracked by conversations that are just hot air. 

I am going to now do these edits on the computer and submit this darn chapter.
6pm submitted chapter.

Now trying to decide whether to stick to schedule or just rewrite chapter 4 before 2 as chapter 4 will require less time to rewrite.  If I submit chapter 4 before 2, I will have more time to work on 2. 

Wow I might make the deadline! 

I’m anticipating 1 rewrite for chapter 4 and at least 2 drafts before submitting. 

Day -76 

2.85/7 chapters rewritten.
I haven’t had as much time to write this week. Although I am prioritising writing the fact is I have other responsibilities. I got a bit grumpy today because of the interruptions. I don’t live in an ivory tower. I live in a world of insurance, storm damage, elderly parents and play dates. I have been thinking about how great it will feel to complete this. It does feel good to have drafts that get better with each rewrite. The trick is to just write and get something down on paper. Writing is rewriting. I’m anticipating a month of editing of the entire thesis after I finish this final draft. 

And where would I be without Zotero? The scale of my project is small enough that I can write things out the old fashion way. I don’t like using fields in Word, but Zotero is a useful way to keep track of my references and reading notes.

People ask me what I’m doing with this degree. They are thinking geeze she’s older, it’s not as if she can start in whatever. I hate that about the society I live in, always have even as a young person.

I wonder if the YouTube stars of today will be allowed to grow old? I’ve been watching shows where my teen idols are unrecognisable because of time. People age if they are lucky. 

I need to reset my body clock next week. Life returns to “normal” as hubby’s leave finishes. I have to keep writing. 

That is my goal. I must be as goal orientated as  John Wick. Gosh that was a terrible movie!

Day -82

Submitted 2/7 chapter drafts.

Yay.So I’m refining the process. I realise that I need to rewrite at least 3 times. I have 4 drafts before submitting it to my supervisor. There’s no point in holding onto it for any longer because by this 4th rewrite I have nothing new to offer.

I’m taking a couple of days off and then will rewrite the review of literature. This is apparently the most straight forward chapter because I don’t need to offer anything new, but I find it the hardest because it involves combing through all my notes. I’ve read hundreds if not thousands of articles and chapters around the topic over the 3 years, and I only developed a system of collecting all of these in one place (Zotero! Zotero!) I hold  a lot of information in my head which isn’t always the best thing as I automatically dump what’s not useful when life gets in the way. You know that whole life thing.

I know it’s going to feel so good when I finish.

I might have to acknowledge someone other than my kid in this thesis. Wouldn’t be able to write any of this if I didn’t have hubby looking after him.

Another post writing reflection:

I can now understand everything written in this book! I purchased it at the beginning of my degree and thought, “OMFG WTF?” Now I understand the concepts in the book I am going to read it for fun.  Now if I can only figure out how to find my 10 year old’s digital wish list.


-83 days to submission

I made it.

I completed another chapter to a level where I only have to do some minor edits. I’ll do that tomorrow.

I’ve been quite crabby today wondering why I feel that I still have to cook etc…when I’m not the only one home. Or rather why I feel guilty I’m not doing any housework.

Seriously, anyone who has a family and managed to complete any brain work from home has my respect.

Next up is one of my more difficult chapters even though everyone says it’s the easiest.

I’m going to email this to my supervisor tomorrow morning and take the weekend off.



Violin progress: nilch

Conversations with a human being: nilch

Conversations with castrated cat: 3



Day -83 to submission

I bow down before anyone who has completed any academic study as a parent who has no nanny and housekeeper. I took a few days off thesis writing and am on this very cold morning struggling to get back into it.

I’ve dragged my bar heater into the room and it’s right next to me.

I have 5 days to write this next chapter. I am not going to push myself to do more than the one. I will still be on schedule if I submit this one on Monday and the next one the following one (as opposed to two this Monday and then a fortnight for the next one). As I restructured it slightly, I have an extra chapter to write.

I think I need a very strong coffee before I begin writing again. I’ve spent the first hour distracted by house chores, checking emails and sorting out everyone’s life – including my cats. It’s been a lot easier with husband back as I don’t have to do the school run for another week or so. In theory, I have 12 days of all day writing but in practice I won’t be able to sustain that. I need breaks, walks and fresh air.

Here is the plan for this chapter and today:

  1. Write an outline – although it is in its draft form, it’s a mess. I need to put it all together properly.
  2. Run it through Grammarly and then do a close edit. Grammarly picks up typos. I make many and it picks up some grammar points. What I don’t like about it is that it makes some sentences too clean and the algorithms are not necessarily programmed for academic writing at this level. Nonetheless, it saves me time. I remember being so envious that a fellow postgrad’s mother was literate and educated enough to discuss nor edit her work. Mine can’t speak English properly so Grammarly fulfils half of this role.
  3. DON’T FREAK OUT and remind self that those who reach their goal have grit like the tortoise in the tortoise and hare race. I’ve found all these great resources to help students and own kid to have their best chance of reaching their potential, I really need to help myself now. It is deeply unsatisfying not being a jack of all trades and mediocre at most things when you know it’s through lack of effort. Process is way more important than the end result. I just have to get back into it.
  4. Stop comparing myself to others –  I did not read through early drafts. They were probably really messy too.

Coffee and then writing.

Apologies to all who read this for not being in contact, or only sporadically, over the next 6-8 weeks. If you text me I will respond, but I’m not as available until after this is done and dusted.