08 February 2012

Writing. Up.

I'm now, officially, writing up my thesis. I've known for a while that this process would start today, as I had a supervision meeting scheduled today, but getting there is pretty unbelievable. It's been a long, long road and this is the final stretch. The hardest part, I have been told, but we'll see if it comes to that.

Writing up. My supervisors have said again and again that one does not write up one's thesis--one only assembles what one has already written. I can see that. I have a lot of words already. I have writing done for every section and subsection of the document. More than that, actually: I have writing down to the 1.1.1.X level, writing that will be contained in the final document. I now have to look each part and the whole and start to put it together. The thesis should be between 80,000 and 100,000 words. I am shooting for something close to 90,000, I think. I want to have a shorter thesis. I want it to be crisp and clean. I want it to read like white linen sheets that you slip between on a summer evening. How's that for a metaphor?

Writing up. In six months, the document will be done or very, very close to being done. I intend to submit on 1 August. That's less than six months and at this point, my trajectory is to make that goal. And then? And then what.

I said yesterday that I know what I want. I do. I want to be an academic. I don't want to work in industry. I don't want to live in one country or another at the expense of trying to be an academic. England, Japan, the States. I need to go where I can work on my research and teach, and have the money I need to do my research. The UK, although I am still hopeful and I still think my funding might work out, doesn't at this point in history seem to be that place. But, then again, things could change on a dime.

I'm going on a writing retreat in April at The Black Bull Hotel in Scotland from 21-22 April. By the end of April, I should have a complete draft of the thesis. Clean it up for a month. I will go to the US in June for a wedding. Clean it up some more. And more. And then it will be done.

I've finally filled in most of my Christmas gifts. Vibram five-finger running shoes and the new Leonard Cohen record. Both good for the body and the soul, or rather, the body. I got up at 4:40 this morning, itching to run. I was on the road by 5:05. I don't want to sleep, I only want to run and write, run and write, like falling into a black hole. Condensing and compiling. Deeper and denser, deeper and denser.

Writing up. I have 174 days until 1 August. Let's hope this all comes together. And I keep my tables formatted properly.