writer’s fatigue

02Feb09

So I can’t meet with my adviser, which means I’m writing blind. It also means I’m writing feverishly with the hope that I can write a chapter that my adviser can read by the beginning of next month so I can get some feedback (in the form, hopefully, of a meeting next month) before I leave the country for my next archive trip. What makes this task even more daunting? The feverish writing I’m doing is not yet creating a coherent draft; I’m still reading sources. In truth, I have too many sources still to read before I can truly begin the work of crafting my 100-plus page ramble into a 40-page chapter. But I’m going to have to take some shortcuts because the alternative isn’t viable: I cannot go back to Europe for another six months without my adviser having read any written work from me. Of course these shortcuts will mean that what my adviser reads will be less than my best work but, at this point, I think something’s better than a complete silence on my part.

In a related note, I hate that I’ve become so worried about what my adviser thinks of me and my work (in part because I really have no idea) that I’m almost unable to function normally and not panic about every move I make. If I don’t drive to MRU, will I be seen as not serious? If I don’t write a chapter, will I be seen as not serious? If I write a chapter that isn’t as thorough as I’d like because I don’t have time, will I be seen as not serious? What’s worse: not writing a chapter or sending in a three-fourths-assed effort?

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