As of this past Monday, the dissertation is off to my committee. The defense is in less than 2 weeks. I've gotten more sleep. I've noticed that there's a world outside my doors. And I've already started one of the large-scale writing projects that was waiting behind the dissertation.
The beautiful thing is that having researched and written a large project on the scale of my dissertation (approved by at least my advisor so far) has given me confidence to embark on other similarly large-scale projects that I've been dreaming about for years. People may at times take the three little letters that will hopefully soon adorn my name somewhat lightly. And at times I'll be among them.
But in reality, the pain I have nearly won through in getting this degree to this point is worth its weight in gold--or should I say writing confidence. It's not just that the credentials will give me more credibility, both in and out of the academic arena.
That's key, of course. But even more important to me is the fact that I've won through a major battle with that part of myself that insists that I can't finish large projects quickly. That I don't have the words to describe things adequately. That I have to wait to start writing things until I've done years of research I don't feel qualified to undertake.
With the (near-)completion of this dissertation project (which, incidentally, I liked, and still like a lot), I've done more than get to the (near-)end of a project that has taken a lot of time, and induced blood, sweat, and tears (along with a few hives, which is a story for another time). And I've even done more than jump enough hurdles to get to the time I've been craving for these other projects.
I've also been given the grace to beat my way through a lot of barriers to writing motivation and found a land of no excuses on the other side.
And I must say, the grass really is greener over here.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I'm a writer, an incurable reader, a narrative theorist, a media researcher, a scholar/author/writer/consultant, a PK, and the Queen of Soup Making. I write a lot, and I've taught a wide range of topics in universities. Along my journey I've picked up a PhD in Communication from Purdue and 2 degrees in English. I've been turning my ideas about communication as author-audience relationships into a communication paradigm that can be applied to a wide range of situations. I'm also writing a historical mystery series. I'm a member of Sisters in Crime, and the co-chair of the Mystery and Detective Fiction Caucus of the Popular Culture Association. My MA thesis focused on connections between T. S. Eliot and Thoreau, who each wondered about how to remain still and still moving. Before I went to grad school, I spent 7 years working for a division of HarperCollins Publishers.