I have them. Right now, I avoid writing my dissertation by reading all sorts of “valuable” sources that will, I hope, be useful to the writing process. Really, I could be writing more if I wasn’t so caught up in perfection. . .I hope I’m not a person satisfied with simply getting to the dissertation process. I need to finish this. I have a bad habit of starting things with little follow-through:
- an article based on my MA thesis (the last draft is from 2005) is still sitting in a binder at home.
- I began a Mary Kay business in 2004 for some extra money. . .yeah, not so much.
- I tried to learn to knit a couple of years ago, and now I have a surplus of yarn with no finished product to show for it.
- I have a bad habit of holding onto emails/cards/correspondence from friends without actually responding to them. Most recently, I have not responded to queries about camping with some friends and attending a baby shower.
- I began a blog (with a colleague as part of a project for DMAC at Ohio State) for my English Department that has yet to be picked up by the university. . .the last post is from October 2007.
- In high school, I joined the crew for a play and showed up for exactly one rehearsal.
- I was actually kicked out of the honor fraternity Phi Sigma Pi for not showing up to any meetings.
- I never received my Golden Key “congratulations, you’re a new member” certificate because I never went to the ceremony or advisor’s office to pick it up.
- I never apologized to two friends–at least, I hope they’re still friends–after some disastrous dates/faux-relationships with them in the months following my breakup with my jackass high school/college sweetheart (that was a 6 1/2 year relationship, oh yes).
- I still have a stack of 15 photos from my college photography class (c. 2001) that need to be framed.
- There are three other unframed prints that need to be finished and hung in my guest room.
- I never sent my best friend a wedding gift (even though I was co-maid of honor in her wedding in October 2007).
- I never returned the call of another friend, who now lives in Seattle (c. August 2007).
- There is a congratulatory card sitting on my coffee table for a friend who successfully defended his dissertation three weeks ago (I saw him that night and never gave him the card).
- I also have an anniversary card for my parents, who celebrated their 29th anniversary 11 days ago (I saw them last weekend).
Maybe this inability to follow through with. . .anything. . .explains my obsession with invention and the composing process. I want to know more about getting started and how these different strategies/heuristics/guides affect what will happen at the end of the process (not that there is ever really an end and not that I have a great track record of making it that far). Enough with the pessimistic, not-quite-postmodern-Derridean pity party.
- “It is not necessary to know everything in order to understand something” (Clifford Geertz).
- “In all cultural matters it is the form of growth that enables us to understand the form of the existing product” (Ernst Cassirer).