I need

to get out of this writing funk. Everything was progressing along and then. . .BAM. Chapters 1-3 are drafted, I have 2 inter-chapters kinda drafted and ideas for the other 2. . .but chapter 4 looms over me. I just. can’t. do. it. Can’t bring myself to write anything. It’s like I’m overwhelmed by choices and my brain has decided to shut down instead.

And I’m on a real clock now. My defense is tentatively scheduled for June 28 (pending outside reader status update), which means I need to get a draft of my entire dissertation to my committee  no later than June 7 (which is 3 weeks, and kind of pushing it), which means I need to get this chapter to Kate. . .yesterday. I told her I would get a draft to her before May 22 (that’s a week from tomorrow), which is when she leaves for Paris.  ARGH.

I have 11 1/2 pages of. . .stuff. Some of it might be good, some of it is definitely bad, and I am “meh” about it. I alternate between tears and fury, which is compounded by the whole “oh yeah, we need to MOVE. TO. WEATHERFORD. THIS SUMMER thing” (and that’s a whole other reason for tears and fury–why is it so difficult to find a rental that allows pets in the western Oklahoma? Really?). I HAVE to finish this chapter this week. I have to. But I got nothing. I’m drained. I have a constant headache, and I’m not sure I care anymore.

I worry that I’m falling into some bizarre depression because I’m about to graduate and be a real adult and I’ve never done that before, because all I know I’m good at is being a student. Yeah, I think I’m a pretty good teacher, and I’m grateful that I found a (TENURE-TRACK!!!) job this year, especially in the current job market, but these doom and gloom feelings just don’t want to leave. I can’t shake them. They match the weather. Unfortunately.

I was hoping that writing a (long-overdue, I know) blog post would ease some of my tension, but it hasn’t done much yet. What else? Maybe a to-do list/outline for the chapter?  Here goes:

I want this chapter (4, the classroom study) to be experimental in form, a true essay that includes my students’ voices as well as my reflections on the class plus the requisite information for a study write-up. I’m inserting text boxes of student quotes and study information into my reflections, but I just feel like I’m spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. So what’s the problem?

I feel like what I have is pretty thin, to be honest, mostly because I’m trying to rely too much on what I wrote a year ago, probably. So I think I just need to put together the draft as it is right now and print it off to get a better idea of what I’m working with so I can then figure out an outline to move forward. Yeah. That sounds good.

*Gulp*

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I am an associate professor of English and writing center coordinator at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. I teach courses in composition, creative nonfiction, fundamentals of English, and peer tutoring.

Posted in Blogging, How it’s going, Inspiration, Me, Monthly progress review, Troubleshooting, Venting

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