After six hours of painfully laborious writing and editing work on my dissertation, I finally reached the point where I knew I had to leave this maddening document and go outside for some fresh fall air. If I spent one minute more on this blasted behemoth I might have descended into blithering lunacy.
Better still, I climbed on my hammock for what might be the last time of the year and absorbed the fall colors while swaying between a pair of bare cherry trees.
I would like to say that the 15 minutes of calm somehow magically rejuvenated me, but in fact this was just a short break from my bout with my lengthy academic rite of passage. I knew all along that the dissertation was still blinking on my computer, demanding to be hammered into a state of finishedness worthy of the eyes of my dissertation committee.
Yet even those few minutes were a welcome respite, and there is plenty of time in the next few days to drive myself batty trying to wind up this seemingly endless process of writing. One of the difficult facets of creating such a project is forcing yourself to cut out sections you think are vitally important, but which will otherwise drag out the dissertation process a few more weeks or months.
Much of my time this afternoon has been spent chopping whole sections of text and splicing in smaller replacements into other portions of the dissertation. Thus, it is with a somewhat heavy heart as I write this post, as I have "killed" more than a few hours of hard work, but if I left the incomplete sections intact, I would be writing until 2012.
And we all know that 2012 is not a good year for writing.