Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Let's Start at the Very Beginning...

A very good place to start.

(Do you love The Sound of Music as much as I do? I consider it one of the best movies of all time.)

I have officially called a do-over on my dissertation proposal. Well, I am 95% sure. I do need to check in with my advisor.

Most people would say that this is not the time to start over. That my decision is totally crazy. Why would I put in a semester's worth of work just to decide to scrap it? But here is my reality:

1. I wrote the initial draft of my proposal over a year ago, and then did not look at it again until this summer.
2. I have spent the majority of the summer trying to pick it back up, and have had to spend the majority of that time just re-reading the literature to find a way back in.
3. The study I was initially proposing was not feeling quite so realistic. At least in my current plan. And I am more concerned with finishing and writing something good than spending the next 10 years trying to do something ground breaking (which I am sure that my proposal was not). I will save that for after I have those letters after my name.
4. It was not bad work, but it really was not very good. Sort of all over the place, without much direction. My instructor's feedback says as much.
5. I am already way more excited about the potential for my new study. And I think I can actually do it.

So here I am. Back to the drawing board. Not starting totally from scratch though. This new topic emerged from my initial proposal, and I will be able to use some of the literature review and possibly parts of my methodology. But I have  a whole lot of reading to do, and even more writing. I have given myself a deadline of February, although I would like to have it done sooner.

I probably should have known this would happen. In both my undergraduate and graduate classes, I could only write a paper to the deadline - that is what they taught us in journalism school. If I started too far in advance, I would always scrap it and start over. A bad habit when it comes time to do that PhD. My procrastination and perfectionism are in an epic battle as we speak.

New mantra: Write something every day. And not just a blog post.


  1. So proud of you! I can hear your excitement back!

    1. Thanks friend! I know I've got a long journey ahead, but I am committed to finishing. : )


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