The Road to Hell

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As my plans tend to, this one got away from me.  I blame wordpress, because I had it set to notify me if I didn’t post every week and I haven’t gotten a notification in months.  With my busy schedule, I can’t be expected to remember AND actually go write a post…  Excuses, excuses, I know.  But here I am, just popping in with a quick update before I get back to watching Friends…I mean writing.

So, since the last post, I really don’t know, since I can’t be bothered to read my own blog.  I sent in packet 1 with 4 annotations and a fair amount of creative work.  I got that packet and response back and was fairly disappointed.  My advisor had less insight than usual and I’ve been so busy I didn’t really write any new creative work; I was planning to just edit the stuff from the first packet and send it in again, but he had very little to suggest in the way of corrections.  So, I spent a few days lost and frustrated—and complaining to all my writer friends—before I decided to just deal with it and do the work without the guidance I was hoping for.  I stuck with the same advisor as last semester because we worked well together and I could see I still had a lot to learn from him, so I think I need to be more clear about what sort of input I need during this semester because I gather that my advisor leaves things up to me because he seems to think that I’m rather insightful and have everything under control (soooo not the case…).

On top of that setback, Life Happened and I was required for some unexpected work and family responsibilities, so I ended up with really about 2-3 days total to spend on packet 2.  I usually spend a good portion of a week or two really focusing on the packet, so I basically just had a meltdown and questioned whether or not I was really cut out for this program.  Then I explained the situation and my ever-understanding advisor gave me an extra week to get this packet in.  So, I can breath a little, but I hate falling behind on the schedule and it’s odd while all my Goddard friends are chatting about sending in their packets when I have different deadlines than them.  In any case, I now have an extra week to get out this packet and my boss gave me a few days off to make up for all the overtime I did before, so I have a reasonable amount of free time to focus on it and can breathe again.

With that burden temporarily lifted, I got really excited about my thesis again and spent last evening/night discussing timelines and species etc with my writing partner, Amanda.  I also got a few inspirations on my nature walk yesterday afternoon (when the block hits, go for a walk in the woods.  Bring a notebook.).  I feel more capable and even if I don’t get a lot written, at least I have a lot brewing and I’m dealing with a lot of the planning and technical stuff that needs to be done.  I’m not super worried about writing a lot of my thesis this semester.  I know what I’m doing now (look at me, all sounding like I know what I’m doing) and I’ll pump out a zero draft in November.  After that, I can fill in the gaps and get down to editing.

So, I breathe again.  Sortof.

Now the issue is the critical work.  I’m still completely lost on the Long Critical Paper (LCP), but at least I have it scheduled out into 3 packets to get it done, so I should be okay about it, but I’m still freaking out at the moment.

Also, Annotations.  I really hit my stride last semester and figured out what I was doing.  I always got positive responses on the work I submitted and all was well.  This semester seemed off to a good start too, especially now that I’ve done 5 of the 12-15 required for the semester.  BUT, now I feel all annotated out.  I got so deep into seeing the world of stories in an up close and critical way, that it started to take the fun out of reading and then I burned out.  I’ve got two books to annotate in this packet and I haven’t a clue what to write about.  Not a clue.  And my brain just doesn’t want to be creative about it.  And I’m too tired (all the time, seriously, when am I not tired?) to get in there and do it, so I don’t even want to think about it.  And now that I’ve got an extra week to do the work, I have to actually turn in something decent.  It’s good to have the extra time, but at the same time, now there’s actual pressure to do a good job, whereas when I didn’t have time to do a good job, I stopped caring about the quality of it all and was ready to just BS my way through 25-30 pages and call it done.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at in this lovely Packet 2.  And we’ll see where it goes from there…

J

 

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2 thoughts on “The Road to Hell

  1. My adviser requires all of our annotations to be about the literary and technical aspects of the books we are reading. He says no themes, no ‘what I like or didn’t like,’ etc. I find it hard to do the annotations, but I have found that going to the author’s website and reading interviews with them about the book helps me zone in on something to write about. Hope that helps! 🙂

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    • My advisor says just “craft.” I just didn’t find anything of interest craft-wise in these books that I haven’t already annotated since I’ve done like 18 so far. They were both classics, so I assume the authors are dead and really doubt they would have author websites.

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