“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
--Audre Lorde

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Saying Yes / Saying No

Submitted by alycia on Thu, 04/25/2013 - 10:38

I read this article from the Chronicle of Higher Ed on the train home yesterday and reflected a little about my own workload and how I feel about it lately.

I'm struggling to work on a thesis right now while working full time. I've been in school for the past three plus years while working too, but the thesis is feeling more like a very LARGE project that is all ME somehow in a way that other coursework has not. Maybe it's because I'm doing new original research (as in, I thought I had ideas I was working up to in other coursework about what my thesis would be, but I took a turn into some new landscapes that require a lot of other research that's new to me).

My new goal, which has also been an older goal, but one that I'm trying to stick to right now is to be extremely and very careful about the things that I commit to--even fun and enticing things. I wish I could go off the grid a bit more, venture out into a writing cabin or somehow just be a little more isolated physically, but I think really what I need to work on is saying "yes no yes" or putting the thesis front and center. I might even stop drinking for the summer (a prospect that frightens me knowing how great Brooklyn for backyards and booze) but a decision that feels like it will help me gain lots of productivity and morning writing sessions (I hope?!).

What techniques and tips can you recommend for getting large research and writing projects accomplished?

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