8 weeks ago, I started a PhD. I wrote about it a little here, after I applied. I can’t tell you how excited I was to receive my offer. It is exactly what I want to be doing.
Now that I have begun, the task seems enormous. Because I want to do it PERFECTLY, I am reading voraciously. ALL of the words about ALL of the things. I want to know it all!
What I am not yet doing is WRITING. And this needs to change. Stat.
My project is around the following themes: cyberbullying, peer pressure, social learning theory, bystander effect, online disinhibition effect, anonymity theory, conformity disposition, mindfulness, emotional regulation, risk-proneness, resilience, cognitive behavioural therapy and locus of control.
My plan so far is to put all these ingredients into a big intellectual pot, stir them up, simmer on low, and then use fragments to create compelling narrative, code like a game dev demon and create a game that adolescents will love that will address ALL OF THESE THINGS and then write a 100,000 word thesis about it all.
Not simple, I’m afraid.
But it’s ok. One day at a time. I need to gather the ingredients first. And that’s what I’m currently doing. But I need some kind of Thing to show for it. Each and every day. Because this project is so big and wide and tricky and octopus like, I need to have little bite-size achievables along the way. I need to write. Every day.
After reading some more about one of my biggest role models Jane McGonigal, I discovered that during the writing of her dissertation, she created a blog called The Best Sentence of the Day. So cool – this is exactly the kind of thing I would do to help keep my behaviour on track and in check. (Side note: I actually did create a blog a few years back to journal my daily progress with a weightloss goal – it was amazingly successful for me – something to do with the accountability to myself, and the others who checked my blog that provided additional motivation to keep going when I felt like quitting. If you are keen, my little health blog is still online over here.)
Anyway, I have decided that I am doing something similar to Jane – I am going to write every day, and every day, I will post just one sentence to a new tumblr that I have created specifically for this purpose. I call it Thesis by Instalments. Little by little, I will write an entire thesis. One sentence at a time.
Do you have writing goals? How do you stay on track?