A New Direction/Priorities


I originally started this blog for a graduate course on book history (hence the first 12 posts). I’m now preparing to revive my blog to document the writing of my dissertation for my Ph.D in English literature.  Never having been able to keep a diary or a journal, i must admit this new project is tentative; we will basically have to see if I can keep myself posting.


In the past few weeks, priorities have been on my mind.  Priorities of various kinds.  Priorities in writing projects. Priorities regarding classes I want (hope) to teach. Priorities in getting prepared for the courses I will begin teaching tomorrow. Priorities in relationships. While relationship priorities are ultimately not solely up to me to decide, I do have the power to prioritize my workload.  I find, however, that I’m struggling to do so.

I have been working for the last month on composing my dissertation prospectus, the final step before I will be considered ABD (All But Dissertation).  It is close to being complete (at least in my view–whether my committee would agree is unknown).  Yet I’ve had to put it on the back burner in order to prepare my syllabi for the classes I’ll be teaching this semester.  And now that that seems to be almost complete, I *still* can’t return to my prospectus, however.  In four weeks, I will be presenting a conference paper (on the topic of the first two planned chapters of my dissertation) that I still need to write.  It is currently exists only in the abstract I submitted to the conference back in May.

Yet even knowing this, knowing that I need to focus on my class and conference paper before finishing my prospectus, it is driving me CRAZY that it is so close to completion yet so far away thanks to my need to prioritize.  It’s just so unfinished!  I also doubt it will become easier to finish once time passes (maybe to revise for repetition/clarity, but not for some of the larger changes/additions that need to be made).

So I’ve made myself a deal:  I am devoting Friday (the 30th) to working on my prospectus.  I’m hoping a day focused on it will see it completed to the point that I can have someone else read it for clarity and repetition before sending it off to my dissertation director for his thoughts.  I’m also hoping that the craziness this incomplete project is causing will result in a super productive day since I will finally be giving myself the opportunity to stop worrying about finishing my prospectus.  So we will see if my prioritizing exception pays off; if Friday proves successful, allowing me to turn my full attention to my conference paper and classes; and if my relationship issues are resolved as well.  Priorities seem like such a better idea when you don’t feel like they’re fighting with you.


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