I'm taking a break from writing my dissertation (due in a week!) to do .... some more writing. Sounds like a wild idea but I wanted to get down on "paper" how my fast-track dissertation has been going so far.
I've written over sixty pages of text in the past three weeks, churned out dozens of figures and tables, and, okay, so I've spent a few hours watering my crops and slaying monsters in Stardew Valley, too. Nobody's perfect, and sometimes a girl needs a break.
I've got a week left until this document is due to the Graduate School, and you know what? I think I'm gonna make it. I am starting to see the light on the other side.
Yesterday I took one of my rare trips outside my house to go to the store. I grabbed a half-gallon of milk and checked the label.
July 26. The date of my defense. I couldn't believe it. After all this time, it's almost over.
Y'all, we're officially in milk territory now.
I've learned a lot about myself already.
I've learned that I do my best work around 11pm. I hate that this is true, but it is, and I've got to embrace it.
I've learned that I can't tie my self worth to how I write. I have to send drafts to my advisors, and they are GOING to find issues. At first it was paralyzing, but this is the only way to get better.
I keep thinking back to an early segment of The Daily Show in Trevor Noah's run, where he says something along the lines of "Look, I'm not as good as Jon Stewart. If I were as good a host at the beginning as Jon Stewart was at the end of his career, I think that would be doing a disservice to Jon's talent."
I can't find the clip, but the memory has stuck with me. I can't expect to write as well as the papers I read now, at the beginning of my scientific career. Do I think I can just jump into scientific writing and immediately be better than everyone else? If I did, that would be pretty arrogant of me, huh? So why not cut myself some slack?
There will be flaws, and I'll fix them, and I'll get better.
Some parting mantras for myself:
TTFN. See you on the other side.
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