Come and cheer Buffy on through the final 20k words of her thesis.

(308 Posts)

Terribly self-indulgent thread, I hope you don't mind?

Bit of background, I started my PhD part-time when ds was very little. Had maternity leave from it with dd a year or so later, didn't have much in the way of supervision for a long time, fell out with supervisor, got a new one last year.

Meanwhile, I got a proper academic post. Sort of mid-level, SL equivalent though at the moment I am doing no teaching. I have won funding, published, all that.

So I feel that the PhD is a little bit of an irrelevance now, just a box to be ticked. But I am determined to finish it, because it has been the source of so much angst. And while I enjoy it when I am writing, it can be difficult to find the motivation to get on with it and I feel guilty when I work on it because I think I should be doing other things.

So, I have decided to write 2,000 words per working day for the next two weeks, which should result in the whole thing being a complete (though very rough) draft. I am making a commitment to do this on here to help me stick to it.

It would be lovely and really, really helpful if people could cheer me on grin

I have done 500 so far today, though I have actually written close of 4k, it's just 3.5k were for something else.

Thanks y'all smile

GingerMaman Thu 20-Mar-14 13:00:17

Go go, you can do it! smile

kelda Thu 20-Mar-14 13:01:40

Go for it!

Thanks smile

Now I will be off to do another 500 after I have popped out for some energy boosting chocolate

LurcioLovesFrankie Thu 20-Mar-14 13:07:07

yay, go Buffy.

Chocolate is your friend!

And just remember, PhDs are actually proof of having the sheer bloody mindedness to finish the bloody thing, nothing more, nothing less...

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 20-Mar-14 13:14:49

Go buffy!

MooncupGoddess Thu 20-Mar-14 13:15:29

Good luck Buffy. I can see that finishing the thesis feels annoying when in many ways you're well beyond that stage, but my experience is that academia does expect people to have PhDs so it will certainly come in useful in future.

Also, you'll feel amazing when you've done it!

TunipTheUnconquerable Thu 20-Mar-14 13:20:18

Targets are the way to go - I think this thread is a very good plan. Not self-indulgent at all to be cheered on. It really helps IME.

Go you! Keep at it!

MadamBatShit Thu 20-Mar-14 13:25:39

Good stuff! Expect you to reach your target for today!
Chocolate is good.. keep the energy levels up.

little jumping around with pompoms... remember Buffy trying out for cheerleader? I think there was blood..
I'll do a crazy dance instead, after you have reached your goal today!

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 20-Mar-14 13:29:58

When I was doing my dissertation (not really comparable to a PhD I know) I made a playlist. I would tell myself I had to write a certain amount of words, then I could have a manic dance around to relieve tension. The playlist included the Pokemon Rap, so you know it's good.



OK, that's another 500 done. They might be self indulgent waffle about resisting traditional conceptions of research, but goddammit, they're words.

Now chocolate.

Then more words.

Thanks everyone, this is really helping. smile

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 20-Mar-14 13:35:31

Go, Buffy! I think we should all reward ourselves with something nice each day you reach your target. And I love that you said y'all (US Southerner here.) smile

dotty2 Thu 20-Mar-14 13:39:07

I submitted my phd 3 weeks ago. I feel your pain - I did find the last furlong a slog. But you are so nearly there, and you will feel mightily relieved when it is all done. Go Buffy!

TunipTheUnconquerable Thu 20-Mar-14 13:48:25

Excellent idea, Scone <eats creme brulee to celebrate Buffy reaching 1000>

benid Thu 20-Mar-14 13:50:32

Go for it! grin

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 20-Mar-14 13:51:02

I am going for Key lime pie. grin

Brrrrr, it's cold out there.

I am now the proud owner of a Lindt chocolate bunny. Well, technically, half a bunny now blush.

Right, more words...

MadamBatShit Thu 20-Mar-14 14:27:12

Silly pic for cheering along, inspired by your half bunny.. It's Dutch so I'll translate:

left hand bunny: My bum hurts

right hand bunny: What?

grin sorry, I'm a kid.


RabbitFromAHat Thu 20-Mar-14 14:31:10

I finished mine in December Buffy, so I remember the pain well! GO!

KaseyM Thu 20-Mar-14 14:37:14

Buffy. Just think people will have to call you Doctor.

People will have to treat you with RESPECT and when any patriarchal nomarks address you as "oi sweetheart!" you will be able to snootily say "That's Dr. Buffy to you"!

Dr. Buffy theReasonableFeminist


<gets back to work>

CaptChaos Thu 20-Mar-14 14:43:22

Go Buffy!

The only downside I can see is someone introducing you to strangers as Dr theReasonableFeminist and you being treated to long involved stories about people's awful hysterectomies etc before you can get a word in edgeways. Or maybe that's just nurses.

One day, this shall be me!

Right that's another 500 done.

500 more and Scone can have her key lime pie grin

When it is you Capt I will cheer you on!

grimbletart Thu 20-Mar-14 15:52:08

Go Buffy. Just think, when people tell you about their bunions and you say I'm not a medical doctor and they say, "oh, I thought you were a proper doctor" you can doctorsplain to them that doctor was historically a term for scientists and it was highjacked by quacks…….so you are a proper doctor. You just don't do bunions….

350 to go.

Slowing. Down. Now.

WhentheRed Thu 20-Mar-14 16:50:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnUnearthlyChild Thu 20-Mar-14 16:58:36

Go go Buffy.

Both highly jealous and impresses of your impending Dr Buffy... Now about my hernia.

And to think I'm stressing about a highly incomplete measly 2000 word effort due tomorrow. I have actual words written, with sentences and full stops and things and a list of reputable sources but wether it actually makes any sense is anyone's guess smile

kim147 Thu 20-Mar-14 16:58:38

I remember doing my dissertation on an electronic typewriter - it was amazing. It could remember a whole page at a time grin

How long is your thesis?

Dervel Thu 20-Mar-14 17:18:28

Rock on Buffy!

Kim it's close on 65k words. Thanks all for the encouragement smile

Taking a break for half an hour, but will do those 350 words before the kids get back from dm at 7.

migsy86 Thu 20-Mar-14 17:27:26

Good luck Buffy, you can do it. x

bonesarecoralmade Thu 20-Mar-14 17:33:35

Go go go Buffy go!

TerrariaMum Thu 20-Mar-14 17:39:24

Keep at it Buffy, you can do it!

Thanks migsy that means a lot. So can you, you know flowers

scallopsrgreat Thu 20-Mar-14 18:09:42

65k of words! Aren't you tempted to put in a couple of pages of radical feminist theory in the middle. Just to see if they notice. grin

I think your doing amazingly well.

Go Buffy Go

<does a little cheerleading dance>
<if it's good enough for men its good enough for Buffy wink >

DontGiveAwayTheHomeworld Thu 20-Mar-14 18:17:43

Go Buffy! I mostly lurk here, but love reading your posts, they're always so insightful and funny. And doesn't finishing this mean you get to put phd after your name?

There is already radical feminist theory in there scallops. I even quote Beachcomber! shock With her permission, of course.

Thanks Don't that's really kind blush

200 words to go…

You lot are great.

cardamomginger Thu 20-Mar-14 18:21:56

Go Buffy go!!

I am also (supposed to be) doing a PhD, but am much further behind in the process than you.

BE MY INSPIRATION!!!!!! No pressure grin.

scallopsrgreat Thu 20-Mar-14 18:23:47

Oh wow I'm impressed Buffy (about the radical feminist theory and the amount of words you've done today)

You've done 90% of today's quota already. Last 10% is a fiddle x

Brain. Melting. Words. Not. Flowing.

Except the dross I am posting on here, that is grin

What is your field cardamom? I am a wooly postmodern ethnographer with an identity crisis, so I can't inspire you if your stuff is in any way, like, clever or technical.

YoniMatopoeia Thu 20-Mar-14 18:27:36

Go Buffy Go!

I am now nosy about the subject of your Thesis blush

Maybe you should set me challenges to amuse me as I limp toward the final hurdle of a crap finished draft? For example, try and reference Dworkin somewhere.

Yoni that would well out me, now wouldn't it grin

SinisterSal Thu 20-Mar-14 18:32:11

Go Buffy it's a pain in the arse but you can do it!

YoniMatopoeia Thu 20-Mar-14 18:32:26

Yes - hence the blush

I have now learned (via the medium of Wikipedia) what an ethnographer is though.

Every day is a school day

cardamomginger Thu 20-Mar-14 18:38:05

Medical sociology/anthropology type stuff - attitudes to illness and medical treatment.

I was very enthused about it a LONG time ago. Now it feels dull sad. I need to get my mojo back!

cardamomginger Thu 20-Mar-14 18:38:39

Here's a challenge - try and quote Spike grin.

cardamomginger Thu 20-Mar-14 18:40:08

I mean, just put the words in. Don't do a proper reference. There might be a few hmm or confused faces at your viva.

ifandwhen Thu 20-Mar-14 18:45:25

hi Buffy - cheering you on for today's last words.

I'm also in the final stages of writing up a now fairly irrelevant seeming PhD, also part-time, 7 years (and 2 maternity leaves) down, hopefully only a couple more months to go....

Another one looking to you for inspiration then - go you! grin

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 20-Mar-14 18:46:27

Go Buffy! grin brew cake

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 20-Mar-14 18:49:38

Go Buffy!

And when you finish your thesis, you win Spike naked in a crypt wink

I have met my target, but it feels slightly hollow because 100 or my words came from a conference paper I wrote 2 years ago. Still, they are mine and they are good and they are relevant.

It's going to be interesting trying to get Spike in. Maybe Giles, though?

FloraFox Thu 20-Mar-14 18:50:43

Go Buffy Go!

<shakes pom poms> shamrock

FloraFox Thu 20-Mar-14 18:51:03


TheWanderingUterus Thu 20-Mar-14 18:51:16

I'll wave some battered bloodstained pom-poms for you (cheerleaders are always the first group to be targeted by vampires......).

Hopefully you have met today's target by now and don't need my pitiful attempts at encouragement.

I'm not looking forward to the thesis writing stage, I'm still at the enjoying the research stage.

I got a cousin married to a regurgitating Froglocsteem that's got better instincts than <citation>


cardamomginger Thu 20-Mar-14 18:52:27

Spike naked in a crypt?!?! Don't distract her!!! (And that is VERY distracting...)

Ah, but this cheerleader has super strength and a stake wandering wink

CheesyBadger Thu 20-Mar-14 18:53:10

Good luck! (Shakes Pom poms!) smile

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 20-Mar-14 18:53:34


<gets chucked off FWR for objectification>

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 20-Mar-14 19:15:25

Good job, Buffy. And don't worry about the 100 words. I plagiarize from myself all the time.

Now off to celebrate with pie. smile

See, now this is my idea of sisterhood!

LurcioLovesFrankie Thu 20-Mar-14 19:27:40

Remember Tom Lehrer's Lobachevsky song: "Plagiarize, let no-one else's work evade your eyes, it's why the good Lord made your eyes, so don't shade your eyes, but Plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize... (only remember, please, always to call it "research")."

The song!

And re-hashing your own work isn't plagiarism, it's standard academic practise.

EBearhug Thu 20-Mar-14 20:15:51

It's very easy to write 2000 words a day - I do it every day on messageboards...

However, focussed 2000 words which are relevant to the subject in question, that's a totally different challenge! If it's any consolation, I'm waiting for a chapter of my friends thesis to proofread - it's taken her a decade, for one reason or another. But she's very nearly there, and so shall you be!

noddingoff Thu 20-Mar-14 20:57:35

Go on Buffy! Can we read it when it's finished?

BigPawsBrown Thu 20-Mar-14 21:00:07

Can I join this please? I have to finish the third draft of my novel by 5th April when I have a meeting with an agent who may want to represent me. I have written 75k word but they all need editing! Have edited 31 pages of 134 so far! grin

Yes BigPaws let's set targets together. How many pages are you going to edit tomorrow?

I will be aiming for 2000 words again.

noddingoff how can I let you read my thesis without outing myself in the most public and shameful way possible? Unless I sort of slip it into conversation, "oh, I read this really interesting PhD thesis the other day, he's a link. I didn't write it, of course"

<leans on wall whistling>

And anyway, you'd probably get to 'submitted in partial fulfilment of the doctorate in philoso zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz' grin

ballsballsballs Thu 20-Mar-14 21:14:32

Do it! Do it!

MadamBatShit Thu 20-Mar-14 21:25:13

.. are you slagging off philosophy here Buffy? hmm

Anyway, some dude in the Netherlands got done for self-plagiarising. Big scandal.
Had never heard that one before.

Noooooo, not dissing philosophy, that's what the first introductory bit has to say.

Self-plagarising? How odd that that's a thing confused. I didn't do that really, I pasted in a paragraph or two from a conference paper and then edited the text to fit what I was trying to illustrate.

BigPawsBrown Thu 20-Mar-14 21:57:36

I'm a lawyer in my day job so weekends I hit the novel hard, aiming for another two pages tonight and five tomorrow smile

Beachcomber Thu 20-Mar-14 22:12:21

hey buffy! this will be short as posting from phone but just want to say you go for it sister. am proud of you. x

EEatingSoupForLunch Thu 20-Mar-14 23:05:38

Come on Buffy, Ifandwhen and BigPaws !!

Rooting for all of you.

whatdoesittake48 Thu 20-Mar-14 23:05:58

Iwrite for living and totally get how hard it is to concentrate for longer than 500 words at a time. My writing is generally keyword stuffed fluff yet I struggle to get it done. I couldn't imagine writing thousands of words. Respect. Fist pump...

So, here we are again today.

I've got to write something else for a bid this morning, but then will be back on the clock to try and get another 2000 words done.

Really appreciate the cheering, you lot are great grin

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 21-Mar-14 07:47:09

Woo woo!!!

Gah! Bid is longer than I thought it would be, for some reason I thought 3500 characters would be about 200 words. It isn't, it's like way longer sad.

PenguinsEatSpinach Fri 21-Mar-14 10:39:36

Go Buffy, go Buffy

<waves pom poms in the air> Oooh, or is that opening a cheerleading as support for men/sport in its own right debate. Does it help that I'm hugely pregnant and wouldn't be acceptable in a normal cheerleading team?

Lio Fri 21-Mar-14 10:58:37

Wow wow wow, go Buffy!

And when you need to 'up' your determination try the creme egg challenge: 3 for £1 in Farm Foods, one in each cheek and the third in the freezer in case of emergency.

ifandwhen Fri 21-Mar-14 11:12:30

<avoids getting distracted by trying to calculate how many words 3500 characters might be, on average - ahem, maths really is not my subject>

Go Buffy! I'm sidelined by writing a funding bid for playgroup this morn, and not at work on mine now til Monday, but come Monday I shall be knuckling down alongside you, and Tuesday too smile.

It's going to be sooo great to get it done and dusted eh?

emcwill74 Fri 21-Mar-14 11:49:48

Go Buffy! Stop reading the internet and keep writing!

dotty2 Fri 21-Mar-14 11:51:22

I used the pomodoro technique all through the last stages of writing up. Set a timer for 25 minutes, completely make yourself concentrate, then get up and do something else for 10 minutes. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Until it's done. Which it will be soon!

CheesyBadger Fri 21-Mar-14 12:03:18

Go Buffy! Am doing an OU degree and feel the need for a team of cheerleaders myself on occasion!

kim147 Fri 21-Mar-14 12:09:16

I've spent the morning building a robot arm! Don't miss writing long pieces at all.

And yes, MN is a massive distraction grin

madambatshit I hope you don't mind I've forward your brilliant picture to DH (although, of course, eating bunnies is wrong. We are too cute).

OP I hope you like my cute bunny and that the words keep hopping on to the page.

Right, just finished the 3500 characters I promised to draft for the bid. Only done 300 thesis words today, so better get cracking.

dd off sick, so lots against me.

dd wants to know what your bunny is called, starball

I'm afraid I don't know, he's not my bunny.

There was a google your username thread and that picture came up.

Since it was originally a Wimbledon name change (as in ball girls at a tennis match) it seemed really appropriate and I saved it.

Now get typing wink

MadamBatShit Fri 21-Mar-14 16:36:49

No worries Starball, I got it off the interweb a couple of years ago so fuck knows who's to credit for them anyway. Cloggy Easter joke.

What's that bunny of yours doing with the tennis ball? hmm

Waves at Cheesybadger So am I!

Anyway, good luck Buffy. Hope DD is alright.

Thanks, she's OK just a nasty cold and temperature. She looked so pale and pathetic this morning smile but she's feeling a lot better now.

Nowhere near my target for the day, only done 600 so far. Will keep plugging though as I don't want to let you all down wink

MadamBatShit Fri 21-Mar-14 16:56:36

Make us proud Buffy!

glad your girl is feeling better..

OK, 1000 words done. Still plodding.

ifandwhen Fri 21-Mar-14 18:25:01

Hope you're getting there, Buffy, powering toward the weekend.
Also glad your dd is bit better.

dotty2 - pomodoro, that's it, was trying to remember what it was called! Plan to try this on Monday.

FloraFox Fri 21-Mar-14 18:27:16



<gets tired> <sits down>

LurcioLovesFrankie Fri 21-Mar-14 18:42:33

Pom pom waving. Go Buffy go!

600 words to go.

Oh GOD come ON Buffy Get it together sad

However, I would've given up 1000 words ago today if it wasn't for you lot grin

Blistory Fri 21-Mar-14 19:20:42

Keep going - just think how good you'll feel to have achieved today's target.

Woooot, wooot, go Buffy!! I'll be joining you soon. I'm in my final year and about to make the Great Transition from lab to writing up. I'm terrified!!

Annie I am happy to share with you what I've learned about writing up, if you might find that useful. Just not right at this moment. grin

550 words to go.

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 21-Mar-14 20:05:44

We need a cheer to go with the pom poms. I was not a cheerleader, but as an American, I have certainly observed a fair few. What about this:

Come on, all you Buffy fans.
Let me hear you clap your hands (clap hands 3 times).
Now that you have got the beat,
Let me hear you stomp your feet (stomp feet 3 times).
Now that you got the groove,
Let me see your body move (sway side to side with arms up 3 times while shouting Yeaaaaaa Buffy!)

legoplayingmumsunite Fri 21-Mar-14 20:25:45

Go Buffy! Go Buffy! waves pompoms in a feminist manner

elfycat Fri 21-Mar-14 21:14:15

Great goal, but you must be up for a challenge to even sign up for a PhD.

waves pompoms and wills a couple of hundred more words to appear with relative ease for you.

ballsballsballs Sat 22-Mar-14 14:45:19

How are you doing today Buffy?

PenguinsEatSpinach Sat 22-Mar-14 21:47:39

<Runs Waddles in. Waves pom poms>

Go Buffy, go, go, go.

Thanks all! Just to manage your expectations (in case you are withholding key lime pie until I deliver words) I'm not counting weekends!

So, y'know. Tuck in with abandon grin

ballsballsballs Sun 23-Mar-14 11:40:29


ifandwhen Mon 24-Mar-14 10:03:22

Morning Buffy. Hope you're going well this morning. Done first 25 min, now having 10 min larking about break (as per Pomodoro), then back to it! Go you!

Not had a flying start this morning. Reached the point where the linear progress I had last week has finished a chapter (yay!) but now there are several choices of what to work on, none of which are as simple as words on a page.

So I am going to edit the chapter I finished last week a bit, because the sections ended up far too long.

Then there are a couple of subsections I can write, but each needs a bit of writing, bit of literature, bit of writing etc.

So maybe rather than words this week, I will do the 25 minutes of focus thing. First, 25 minutes of editing. After I make a coffee [gin]

No no, no [gin] that will not help at all grin

elfycat Mon 24-Mar-14 11:01:42

Inspired by your study aim I have picked up my jumbo book of Shakespeare and instead of crocheting I shall spend the morning getting ahead with my next essay.

Best avoid the booze. I just made a cup of tea and getting the milk from the fridge I spent a long moment speculating about a glass of white wine as a study aid.

OK so I forgot to set a timer blush but I have finished the edits I wanted to do. Yay!

Now another 25 minutes of focused focusing. envy <-- that's my focusing expression, though I do not (to my knowledge) go green during the focusing process.

Elfy and If, hope your work is also getting done?

500 words done.

Just checking in to say good luck!

SconeRhymesWithGone Mon 24-Mar-14 15:01:35

Sounds like a good plan, Buffy. We are with you! brew

Creeping Mon 24-Mar-14 18:33:42

I'm impressed with your target alone! I wouldn't even contemplate writing 2000 words a day! And you're succeeding as well. Big time impressed, me! How do you do it???

I've just started my PhD and doing review at the moment, and I get 200 words done in an average day, 500 on a good day. Just looking up the references and making sure I cite them correctly seems to take up all my time.

Self-plagiariasing is a thing though. Apparently the APA handbook has a paragraph on it. Better cite yourself accurately!

Creeping Mon 24-Mar-14 18:36:41

(difficult word, self-plagiarising. Too easy to stick in too many i's).

Dinnae fash! No self plagiarising has occurred. I referred to writing the conference paper as a turning point in some critical reflections I was doing, so both cited the paper and described it as 'a thing'. Rather than just pasting in the words as if they were new.

I can write 2000+ words a day if I am writing on a topic that I know well and where I am already pretty familiar with the literature. An area I am less familiar with and I will do less, so don't feel as though you are some kind of slow writing freak creeping grin.

However, if you are vaguely social science related, I can suggest two strategies that I have found very helpful in making literature reviewing much more efficient:

1. Put all your pdfs in NVivo and code them as you read. If it is an area of literature you are not too familiar with, use really broad codes. If you know what you are looking for, you will already have specific codes in mind. That way when you come to write it, you have all the information you need within the relevant node and it's simple to look back at the info in context and to follow up any references in turn.

2. Use the reference management facility in Word. It's not perfect, but once you've added a reference it stores it centrally so you can access your reference database from any Word document on your computer. Well, it does on mine, I use a mac. Saves loads of time and creates your bibliography too.

ifandwhen Tue 25-Mar-14 09:58:02

Morning all, just about to get down to it. Had a good blast yesterday and chapter almost in shape, just left with a bunch of niggly odds and ends that will probably take longer than a decent chunk of writing would. Oh well, going to make a coffee and then crack on with it - will resist the [gin] for now grin

Hope it went well for you yesterday if?

Today I am going to relax my target due to illness <strikes pale and pathetic pose>

Just 1000 words.

Ooooo, just checked and I've met today's target. Still going, so anything over is a bonus...

elfycat Wed 26-Mar-14 17:59:41

<Waves pompoms>

Go Buffy!

bonus words too? grin

I know, I am closing in on my original 2000 words.

Some of it may be waffly bollocks.


elfycat Wed 26-Mar-14 18:08:19

I'd have to try Waffllocks a few times but I'm not sure it has the bite.


I waffle on a lot of first drafts, but you can only improve a piece of writing ONCE it has been written. So you'll hit the 2k today?

Yambabe Wed 26-Mar-14 18:09:36

Would do, but appear to have been restricted sad

Yambabe Wed 26-Mar-14 18:10:27

oh, or not! Waffle on, waffle on, best wishes.......


Pronounced 'woff-locks'

Yes, should hit the 2k today, done c. 1700.

elfycat Wed 26-Mar-14 18:15:57

It's the 'f'. It's a soft sound rather than the harder 'f' in the err 'f' word.

The f and the l together don't work in speech sad. But it looks lovely written down and because I am adept at avoiding actual face to face speaking, I may yet keep it.

Thanks Yambabe hope you stick around smile

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 26-Mar-14 18:35:39

Hope you feel better soon. It is so hard to work when you are feeling subpar.

600 words under my belt so far today along with about 200 chocolate biscuits

whatdoesittake48 Thu 27-Mar-14 14:06:34

Can I join you? I have £160 worth of work under my belt today already smile i can safely relax having reached and surpassed my daily target. Although I was up at 5am...

I hope you reach your target, it sounds like you are getting there. When it comes to writing, some days are easier than others. Sometimes the words just trip off my tongue and are all brilliant. other days, it is incoherent and unreadable...

I know that my output is entirely connected with my consumption of sugar - and in a negative way. the less I eat the better I work. So put the choccy biscuits away!!

I just 'found' 4000 words I hadn't counted! I know I didn't write them today, but that's rather a leap forward towards my 20k word target grin

Only 12k words to go now.

scallopsrgreat Thu 27-Mar-14 14:41:29

That's brilliant Buffy! The key I find with these things is that if you don't achieve your target in a particular day, the tendency is throw your hands up in the air and lose motivation or may be that's just me!

So if you don't achieve your target in a particular day don't stress. Either plan to make it up over the course of the next few days or just tag it on to the end. It doesn't matter that much if you do an extra day.

However you sound like you are going along great guns! Go Buffy! Go Buffy! <pom poms waving>

NurseyWursey Thu 27-Mar-14 14:43:13

Keep going you, it'll come! I only had to do 10k so I have no idea how you feel!

make sure you're giving yourself breaks with nice food and drinks x

Thanks all, I am finding this thread very helpful. It's like you're all sitting here watching me with hopeful expressions on your faces and I don't want to let you down smile.

I really am getting there though. Coffee next, then back to work.

NurseyWursey Thu 27-Mar-14 14:48:00

You reminded me Buffy, I have an assignment myself for my critical care module. Aaaaaa

moonbells Thu 27-Mar-14 15:01:13

Just found this thread. Come on, you can do it! Nothing like having a gender-neutral title (that and you can wear this Tshirt) grin

(Mine was 74046 words, 308 pages. I got told off for it being too long --and boring--)

moonbells Thu 27-Mar-14 15:01:52

Strikeout fail. Sigh!

This thread is making me feel wonderfully motivated every time I click on Threads I'm On. I just saw on t'other thread you said people were adding their own goals so hope I may?

My thesis was just over 90k last time, but I am currently squirming every time I think about it because I still don't know if it's ultimately going to pass or fail at corrections. It's bizarre, I thought I'd be so glad to be finished but I'm really itching to go back and re-write it now and it's hard to be disciplined and work on other things!

I've got 200 words done today, which is pitiful, but I need to get my skates on because I've got an article to write.

Yes please do LRD

If I'd realised how many other people would like to be involved in collegiate target setting I would have made a more generic thread blush

If it helps at all, I've not known anyone to fail on corrections. Provided you've made them, what's to fail you on?

Oh, no, it's nice feeling part of collective cheering-on, too. smile

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 27-Mar-14 21:41:28

Buffy! LRD! Ra Ra Ra!


Ooh, now I feel all conflicted ... feminist cheerleading.

CaptChaos Thu 27-Mar-14 21:53:09

It's ok, we're all looking very serious while cheerleading. We're also wearing scratchy sacks and haven't shaved our legs for, like, ever.

No make up, hairy arm pits.

So... Go Buffy, Go LRD, there's no rhymes, but go you two!

Thank goodness. wink

I would hate to be the cause of derailing Buffy's amazing thread.

Go Buffy!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 27-Mar-14 22:32:51

I, personally, am signing up to The Dungaree Dynamos, who wave pom poms of shredded F4J adverts.

CaptChaos Thu 27-Mar-14 22:40:43

Shall we dye our scratchy sacks to match? How about our leg hair? Purple leg hair sounds quite fetching!

Sorry, not helping for the word count, but you do have your own troop of humourless feminist approved cheerleaders grin

SconeRhymesWithGone Thu 27-Mar-14 23:31:32

Who knew this was a thing?

Radical Cheerleading

Yambabe Thu 27-Mar-14 23:44:19

adds more waffles - or wafflocks


scallopsrgreat Thu 27-Mar-14 23:50:22

That looks like my kind of cheerleading Scone. A bit random and doesn't involve the splits grin

Women cheerleading other women? Pretty feminist I'd say.

Although my pom poms are most definitely very tongue-in-cheek.

ifandwhen Fri 28-Mar-14 13:35:28

Go Buffy and others scribbling away. Got my chapter in on Tues. Bit iffy in places but liked elfycat's comment that you can only improve a piece of writing ONCE it has been written.

Offline Weds and Thurs, back trying to write a paper this morn, now slightly impeded by 2yo on lap though... may not be back online for a few days but will be cheering you on in spirit... go go go!

MadamBatShit Fri 28-Mar-14 14:03:43

It's Friday.. one more day of scribbling until the weekend...

Radical cheers for both o' yis!

Go Buffy!!

I got 1500 words done today, and 3 hours in the lab. <preens>

But I was very much cheating cos most of those 1500 words were copied and pasted from things I'd written before. [shame]

Dammit! blush

emoticon fail.

Nice one Annie

Well I am here and hoping for another 2000 today. Very very tired for some reason, hour change probably.

Good luck, buffy!

The hour change is horrible.

Well I am 800 down. Nae bad!

I hate the hour change. I get about 2 weeks where I wake up bright and refreshed about 15 minutes before the alarm goes off. Then the fuckers insist on putting the clocks forward and I have to be jerked to awareness again, stumbling around bleary eyed in the mornings.

Why do we still have it? Bah humbug. smile

whatdoesittake48 Mon 31-Mar-14 11:46:47

yep, I have been caught out by the hour change too. Pity my client didn't forget to put his clocks forward and still expects my work by lunchtime...

British Summer time (although it isn't just the brits - we have it in NZ/australia etc too) is all to do with those pesky farmers - to give them time to get their work done in the evening. Weirdly - we now have floodlights and tractors with headlamps. My guess is that farmers get up and finish at the same time regardless. Cows don't understand clocks....

In any case - I have one hour to write up about 800 words - but it trips off the tongue so I hope it will be an easy 800.

Good luck for today Buffy - oh and well done on finding that spare 4,000 words. How'd that happen?

Flipping welly boot wearing sleep stealers!

I "found" them because I hadn't included them in my count. In fact the 80k words is a bit of a red herring because even if I write 80k, I still have to actually, y'know, finish it properly and to an appropriate standard. But hey, it's a target for now.

Still plugging away. Short by 200 words yesterday, but there was a homework crisis hmm

Hope all the others posting here are also making good progress.

HerrenaHarridan Tue 01-Apr-14 10:45:03

Wafflelocks flows off the tongue better and avoids the ffl

Pronounced waf-fel-ocks

Well done by the way 2000 words a day is no mean feat

Rolling up sleeves for another 2000 words today.

Overall aim is for a finished thesis draft by the end of this month. Better get on with it then… grin

Go Buffy GO!!

Today is my first full day of proper sitting-at-home-writing-up. I was home a couple of days last week and did get some writing done, but also had a sick child to look after. Today they are both fully healthy and dispatched to school, so I have until 6pm to achieve Thesical Greatness!

TerrariaMum Thu 03-Apr-14 20:23:35

I'm just adding my cheering in. Go Buffy, you can do it. That goes for everyone else too.

AnnRuleRules Thu 03-Apr-14 22:51:16

Buffy, good luck!! You come across as so passionate and SMART...really, really smart, that I honestly don't think there is anything you can't achieve. And from what I have read on here, I think women are very lucky to have you and misogynistic men should be shitting bricks!

lurciolovesfrankie Thu 03-Apr-14 22:57:09

I am waving pompoms, and my newly-embroidered cushion with its slogan "Mmm, coffee eclairs. Phallic AND delicious" (slogan courtesy of Doctrine on another thread... I am still laughing).

Go Buffy, go.

Thanks everyone smile

I am probably going to let you down today. I've done 500 words, but I am so unbelievably, crushingly tired. My fingers feel like big sausages and my eyes are crunchy. You know?

No particular reason, I don't think. No late nights or anything. Just the relentlessness, I think. sad.

Thouneedsbedamned Fri 04-Apr-14 12:21:05

Brilliant and bright, we all adore our Buffy
Until the end she must write until her sleepy eyes get puffy
Feminism brought us here to rant and share and learn
Fending off those dickheads who will not let us have our turn!
You don't have to be the brightest spark to shine in Womens Rights

We all support each other. United we will fight.

<whooo go Buffy!>

That's brilliant!

<sheds tear>

How are you doing today, buffy?

It's the Easter Holiday LRD so I am making rather less progress than I would normally expect grin.

Still plodding through though.

Ah, ok! smile

My mojo lies over the ocean
My mojo lies over the sea
My mojo lies over the ocean
Oh bring back my mojo to me

Bring back, bring back, bring back my mojo to me, to me
Bring back, bring back, bring back my mojo to me.


So what do you lot do when you know you should write, you need to write, but can't?

I've tried:

- timer for increasingly short bursts where I have to focus for that time
- taking short walks to clear my mind and focus
- trying to just bull through it

Any other ideas that might help?

kickassangel Thu 10-Apr-14 14:48:56


It is 10 am here and you have just motivated me to get out of bed and think about looking at my notes for my term paper for my MA. See, you're an inspiration.

Me2Me2 Sun 13-Apr-14 00:16:08

Go Buffy
May I join you? I'm trying to finish a book (academic study). I have a rough draft of it but its from 2 years ago. I've had two babies since then and returning to it after such a long break is a bit painful as I've decided it needs major reworking but at the same time am quite attached to a lot of it so I'm a terrible self-editor.

Just out of interest, how did you get an SL post without a PhD?

kickassangel Sun 13-Apr-14 02:28:47

I am feeling terribly inadequate. It has taken me a day and a half to write about 5000 words. I had it all planned and it seems to have taken forever. I have done citations as I went and also read through an edited but it still seems so slow.

I used to write a thousand words an hour when I did my BA, why am I so slow now?

Me2, great to have you along. From tomorrow, big big focus will be attempted.

How did I get post with no PhD? I got lots of funding over a sustained period, so I guess I seemed like a good horse to back.

Kickass, I slow right down when doing citations at the same time. It interrupts my focus and makes me want to go and search for more literature In case I've missed the key thing!

...I had also published in good journals.

Prob would stand no chance of getting my own job now, and prob wouldn't get one at another institution. Right place, right set of circumstances, I guess. It happens.

kickassangel Sun 13-Apr-14 13:58:56

So, currently I teach in middle school and am doing an MA. I am surprised by how much I enjoy it an how easy I find it. (Except writing up. I can do it but I don't enjoy it)

Vaguely I am wondering about a PhD after the MA, but would probably be 50 if I ever got to the end of it. Would it be worth thinking about teaching in a Uni rather than school?

I haven't had anything published yet but intend to start looking into that I the future. I have presented at conference and am confident about that. I have decades of teaching experience, up to A Level an Oxbridge tutoring.

I don't like grading papers but hopefully Uni students would be more interesting. Never had to apply for funding but I assume I could get used to that.

I am shocked by how little basic teachers at Uni earn around here, a lot less than I currently get as a middle school teacher. But there is potential for a much higher salary, and better health benefits, and I want to be called doctor cos my parents still treat me like I'm stupid. And I would SO love to have my name in a journal or on a book!

Do I sound even vaguely like a possible candidate, or would you laugh yourselves silly at me?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 13-Apr-14 23:11:35

Kickass, I've read past posts of yours and your parents treating you the way they do says way more about them than anything else...

I'll happily call them stupid for you, if it helps?


kickassangel Mon 14-Apr-14 01:42:45

Yes, I do realize that. They have their redeeming features as well..

Anyway - come on Buffy, go go go.

I have just got an email asking if I want to join an honors society, which will mean that I can put MA Hons on my resume, and get special cords to wear if I ever get as far as commencement! If that sounds like a foreign language to you, it is to me as well. I think it means very little academically, but gives me a fancy pants thing around my shoulders if I go to graduation. Oh, and I'll get a pin as well (broach). For the cost of $10.

I shall ask at school if there is any point to this, or if being on the honor role is a bit laughable.

Me2Me2 Mon 14-Apr-14 09:15:50

One child with confirmed chicken pox so no nursery for him this week. Spanner in the works work-wise. Though actually, I bet I get as much done in his nap as I would if I had the whole day. This thread is going to motivate me, yes it will…

kick university post = wonderful job, poor pay (worse than school teachers I think)

Buffy so you are one of the elite who got snapped up up before finishing your PhD smile

Ha! I hadn't thought of it that way. Sounds better than I lucked into cash and then a job wink

Sitting in my parents' conservatory, ready to focus.

<adopts focused expression>

Right. Go!

Me2Me2 Mon 14-Apr-14 17:07:26

I'm done for the day. Got to get dc2 from nursery. However I have made decent progress, despite having ds home. Less time equals more focus apparently. 20 minute bursts thanks to Mr Tumble. And ds obliged by taking a 3 hour nap

How's it going Buffy? go go go

1000 words done so far. Still going...

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 15-Apr-14 08:49:10

Can I join? I don't have anything to write today but have something I must read and comment. But I'm not finding this thing called motivation ...

I find that a combination of desperation and pure fear works a treat for me. Can you conjure up such a feeling? grin

Will be writing about ethics and representation today...

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 15-Apr-14 11:27:10

I've done over an hour of reading and commenting. One more hour to go and then it's flatbread and cheese and pate for lunch. Bloody kids are squealing upstairs. hmm

I've done about 500 words. Slog, cite reference, slog, come across new reference, search, read, slog, cite. Etc.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 15-Apr-14 13:40:26

I'm doing more of a spring cleaning job with my student's paper. The thing has grown too organically and now it needs some transplanting and some pruning. And perhaps some genetic modification. hmm grin

Me2Me2 Tue 15-Apr-14 14:07:07

I'm sinking into ever deeper despair as I realise that the task ahead is not as simple as I'd thought. Indeed genetic modification sums up what's required

Sink not into despair, for that way lies madness and chocolate.

I can suggest a couple of strategies that have got me over similar slumps, if that would help?

Me2Me2 Tue 15-Apr-14 15:01:32

Oh yes please. Advice gratefully received

And you are right about despair: I have got FOUR chocolate digestives in front of me. Twice my daily allowance...

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 15-Apr-14 15:07:31

I don't know any cure for writing-related despair but I'm doing distraction at the moment: we are going to Wilkinson's to procure glue and other arts-and-craft related goods.

Back to pruning later.

CaptChaos Tue 15-Apr-14 19:42:31

How have you done this afternoon Buffy ?

Still plugging away...

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 16-Apr-14 11:28:20

I am so bored I think I'll give up.

Me2Me2 Wed 16-Apr-14 12:36:05

Nooooo Upto. Or I will...

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 16-Apr-14 12:37:56

I am almost envying people on here who are writing their own stuff. Helping other people write a paper is like ... AAARRRGGGHHH.

I'm not giving up Me2 smile

My two strategies for those moments when you just look at your work and think sad this isn't working or shock there is so much and I am not happy with it but don't know how to develop it are:

1. Choose one relatively self-contained section and focus just on that, put the rest out of my mind as a problem for later. Often by solving that section, I feel better equipped to tackle the rest.

2. Treat the whole thing as source material. Break it down into subsections, paragraphs or even sentences and then reconstruct it using a more sensible framework, rather like coding a load of qualitative data. Then move all the paragraphs into the new structure and go from there, identifying gaps and writing signposting sections that explain the logic of the argument around the existing bits.

I don't know if those ideas are any use whatsoever?

Thouneedsbedamned Wed 16-Apr-14 18:03:50

Dropping in to provide motivation.

<provides motivation> grin

Unable to muster any for poor little me though.
So I'm hoping none of you hard working folk will reply and it will shame me into ploughing on with my work.

wine for those who need it
[tea] for those who cant.

Thouneedsbedamned Wed 16-Apr-14 18:04:23


Obviously you can have a coffee if you want...I wont judge.

<tries to absorb motivation>

I'm just debating whether to try and force myself onward on the basis that if I can just keep ploughing on the fucker will get finished sooner or whether to stop, because I'm really having to force myself now and feeling pretty meh about the whole thing.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 16-Apr-14 18:23:07

Pops in, smokes motivation, does not inhale.

Waves pom poms in a haphazard fashion grin

<eyes haphazard pom pom technique>

I thought you said you didn't inhale?

Thouneedsbedamned Wed 16-Apr-14 18:35:29

<puts on Bob Marley and attempts to hide red eyes from DH>

Oh GOD I need something to look forward to.

Feeling really quite low now, however hard I work I feel as though I am wasting my time.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 16-Apr-14 19:42:17

Buffy, I'm sure that's not true. You come across as someone who really knows her onions.

HoVis2001 Wed 16-Apr-14 20:30:25

I've only just discovered the feminist boards on Mumsnet (as a non-Mum I have spent the last two months gradually becoming addicted to AIBU - it's completely enthralling), but over the last hour have come to the conclusion that soon-to-be-Dr Buffy the Reasonable Feminist is one hoopy frood. So, may I come and join in the cheering on? I can bring cake.

You can do it!

RhondaJean Wed 16-Apr-14 20:32:32

Keep going Buffy. You are almost there - I'm hoping to start my phd this year but all my friends who have one have said just what you are now, and then they find a little head of steam and that's it...

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 16-Apr-14 20:37:02

Yup. Buffy definitely knows where her towel is.

Me2Me2 Wed 16-Apr-14 20:54:19

Buffy you can look forward to finishing!

Thouneedsbedamned Wed 16-Apr-14 20:56:37

Why don't we throw a party when Buffy finishes?

I can provide


And total bollocks conversation grin

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 16-Apr-14 23:20:49

I can provide Vogon poetry!

CaptChaos Wed 16-Apr-14 23:31:03

I could provide the appreciation of said vogon poetry.

And tea, which hasn't been made by a Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser.

Share and Enjoy

Thanks all smile

I'm here, and should finish the draft of my last chapter today. Then it's just the conclusion to finish.

How would we have a party? On a thread?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 17-Apr-14 07:23:04

Oh well done Buffy!!

<plans virtual party shopping list for thread>

Me2Me2 Thu 17-Apr-14 08:41:12

Hurray a party, but what to wear?

buffy thanks for tips. The second one is certainly something to try.

Cool smile

Another thing I read about in a writing book is to put the whole thing aside and do a sort of 'free writing' conceptual outline; almost allow your subconscious to take over how the argument is made and the writing structured. Which can be developed into a refreshed structure that sections of existing writing can fit into.

Actually writing about feminist research in my thesis now smile. Nearly done with this pesky chapter, which will then need to be completely restructured ARGH! ARGH!

<slaps face>

OK, we won't think about that now.

Nearly done with this chapter and then conclusions.

Me2Me2 Thu 17-Apr-14 14:18:32

I've written a pitiful 179 words today

<slaps face, bangs head against wall, considers hurling laptop out of the window but remembers how much it cost>

Maybe we should swap. Change as good as a rest etc grin

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 17-Apr-14 14:54:09

What? Slap each other's face instead of one's own? grin

Me2Me2 Thu 17-Apr-14 16:03:16

Maybe if a big hand popped out of the screen and slapped my face every time I checked mumsnet I would get somewhere

Actually my mojo is returning, but I have to fetch the kids.

In the meantime I made brew for everyone. Enjoy


No slapping! Bad copper!

Just writing a couple of sections on critiques of a methodology; I've realised that I could summarise said critiques in one very short sentence: "people criticise the methodology because it assumes a person is synonymous with a white man"

Which led me to thinking: what bloody isn't? sad

Well how lovely! In fact I do have a steaming brew freshly made right here.

I have been setting the timer on my phone for 25 minutes and rewarding myself with a little check and post each time it goes off grin

whatdoesittake48 Thu 17-Apr-14 16:08:29

I am a serial procrastinator (umm...obvious, given that I am here and not working!) but I find that telling myself i will write the first three or f our lines, sentences, one paragraph or whatever just gets me going. then I tend to continue.

Sometimes when I am lying in bed, watching telly, jumping on the trampoline or whatever, I get a one sentence inspiration and that starts me off. You have have to jump up and quickly get going or the great idea just evaporates.

I manage to churn out 1000s of crap words a day - but every now and then a gem arrives. that happened to me this morning and i am still basking in the glory!

HoVis2001 Thu 17-Apr-14 23:09:51

'Free writing' is really great. When I did my MPhil I went along to these amazing writing groups where you spent 5-10 minutes either talking to the person next to you about what you wanted to write, or did a free-writing outline, and then spent 50 minutes to an hour doing 'proper' writing, and then debriefed either to the same person or in note form. And then had biscuits and coffee, and then repeated, etc. I found it a great way to get through a day of writing.

Buffy, I just came across your thread about your alternative thesis conclusion - it sounds absolutely amazing. I'm at the start of my own PhD (in history), and am really interested in the way we talk about knowledge or ideas in the past (in brief, I have a problem with the fact that intellectual history always assumes the superiority of the present day in various ways), but I'm nowhere near close to getting at such deep thinking about the nature of the positivist / empirical structures within which modern academics write. I would love to read your thesis!

kickassangel Thu 17-Apr-14 23:25:24

Is there any difference between free writing and just writing?

When it's a paper I always know what point I am makin with a paragraph so I just do that without thinking about it too much. Is that free writing or just planning in your head before you write?

HoVis2001 Thu 17-Apr-14 23:32:46


Free-writing (or at least, as it was explained to me) is meant to be deliberately unformulated writing - more of a stream-of-consciousness. So, if I'm planning on writing 500-1000 words of a chapter in a given writing session I might write: "This hour I want to write 500-1000 words about x, I think I might talk about y and z, it could be challenging in these ways..."

It's more about 'warming up' to write and letting your thoughts flow than writing a formal plan. The writing groups I attended (which were all student-led, which was great) were partially based on the idea that writing - even academic writing - is a creative process, and that the act of writing can cause previously unformed or even unthought of ideas to come to the fore. It was also about de-mystifying writing as this sort of terrifying act that you can only do once you have all your ducks in a row. So free-writing was a way of getting you into the habit of writing even if you didn't feel you had anything more to write about than your own random thoughts. Does that make sense?

Me2Me2 Fri 18-Apr-14 00:10:27

For me writing and thinking definitely go together. The ideas flow as I write them down. Tho not always, as today demonstrated!

kickassangel Fri 18-Apr-14 03:20:33

Ok, but I think I would still be planning my free thoughts in my head before I write them. If I'm going to all the effort of writing I am going to make sure it counts!

Check this out it's a chapter in a qualitative research book that talks about how writing is indeed a creative and generative process and one with epistemological significance.

My understanding of free writing is similar to HoVis that you simply begin to write with only the vaguest idea of where it might end up. No correcting of spelling, no editing, just writing. It's partly warm up but can be very useful to generate something that you can then restructure and edit. I personally find it very helpful when I get to that stage of having written 40 pages that I know aren't quite right. I use it to write about what I have written, if that makes sense. Often, then, it allows me to form clear thoughts about how I myself want to interpret all this literature.

So you go from 'X (2000) said this and y (1995) said that and z (2013) had this view' to 'there appear to be conflicting opinions on the role of <whatever> but what seems significant to me is that there has been little exploration of <brilliant synthesis>' grin

Ok, but I think I would still be planning my free thoughts in my head before I write them. If I'm going to all the effort of writing I am going to make sure it counts!

Heh Kickass for me writing is easier than thinking, so I write, then I read what I've written and think, then I rewrite. Sometimes I sort of go into a trance like state and when I read it back, what I've written is unfamiliar!

HoVis your interest in how we privilege current lenses over those of the past is really interesting. Have you read any post-coloniast or critical race stuff? That is often historical and what little I've read appears to have a similar perspective on the ways that western intellectuals have superimposed their ways of thinking onto what were actually very sophisticated philosophies. Spivak on translation is one example.


I just had an idea: we should set up a virtual academic / feminist writing group! Not sure exactly how, but the basic idea would be that it is a private group (not publicly viewable) and we "meet" regularly to discuss writing and support. Like here, but with the ability to share more specifics.

What do you think?

Me2Me2 Fri 18-Apr-14 10:14:27

Great idea!

I've learnt things from this thread - e.g. have never reflected on the writing process before or considered free writing etc. It's got me thinking that maybe just maybe I'm not working as efficiently as I might
Also that there are other academics on MN grin

HoVis2001 Fri 18-Apr-14 19:52:28

A virtual feminist/academic writing group would be great! The way that springs to mind is a private facebook group, though that would involve 'outing' ourselves, obviously. (That said, the type of info I'd be likely to share about my topic etc would probably do that anyway, if people had the compunction to google it). But there is almost certainly a way to set up a private but anonymised internet forum somewhere. But anyway, however it might work I think it's a great idea and would love to be involved. smile

I think post-colonialist approaches are definitely relevant, though currently on the list of 'things to think about' rather than things I've looked at in depth already (this is how I feel about a lot of stuff right now - I'm hoping more things fall into the latter category as the PhD progresses...). I worry that to some academics it comes across as too strong a phrase but I think there is a real phenomena of historical imperialism in the way historians approach past understandings of the world. I think it comes out of modern science and empiricism - it seems so natural that the only way to 'know' a fact is to have it proved empirically, so historians often don't realise that a) there's an inherent problem in not appreciating that things now 'prove wrong' were experienced as facts in the past and b) that there may have been and continue to be other ways of knowing 'facts'.

Sorry, I could go on about this all day, so I'll stop there. grin Thanks for the pointer towards Spivak - he looks great, I'll definitely have a read.

kickassangel Sat 19-Apr-14 00:12:55

A frien of mine writes about maritime history but focuses on the effects of women etc. she says that even as historians go, maritime ones are particularly misogynistic. I think she would argue that even if a naval fleet won the war, for a widow left at home with children and no income there would be very little victory, so the individual experience would be vastly more significant than any historical data about the Napoleonic era.

And let's not forget that for rape victim survivors their body IS the empirical data and the experience, so who can prove what the definition of empirical data is? Many philosophers have debated this, and now quantum scientists are in on the act.

As someone who lives literature I believe that stories such as creation myths give people a truth about their world just as much as any physicist can. It's all just a different way of saying the same thing, just that certain forms of dialogue, the 'masculine' way of saying things, is more acceptable in the current world.

And now I could ramble on about how we label certain forms of speech as masculine feminine etc etc

(Think I may be free writing now)

<adds setting up virtual writing group to long to-do-list>

Nose firmly back on the grindstone today.

Not sure whether to leave the chapter I've been working on at 80% sorted and move on, with the assumption that some distance will make that final 20% much better, or plug on...

I think I will move on for today. So, conclusion time…


CaptChaos Tue 22-Apr-14 10:28:28

Pom poms all a-flutter for you.

Conclude away!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 22-Apr-14 12:22:44

Good luck Buffy!

Me2Me2 Tue 22-Apr-14 12:37:27

Go Buffy! I can just about make out my conclusion in the far distance, behind 4 chapter reworks and more reading...

kickassangel Tue 22-Apr-14 17:56:38

Dontchya just love it when suddenly you can see where it's all going and what the conclusion is going to be?

I hear that's nice… sad

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 23-Apr-14 09:17:01

You ok, Buffy?

You know when you're just sort of holding it together and then someone shows a bit of concern?

<dissolves into snotty sobby tears>

Not really that OK, no sad

But I don't have much of an option other than to keep pushing though until the end now. So that's what I will go and do now, instead of procrastinating here <hiccup>

Me2Me2 Wed 23-Apr-14 09:56:05

Keep going! If you stop I will...

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 23-Apr-14 10:04:22

Aw, sorry!

I shall now be harsh bitch not sympathetic frond

<cracks whip, looks scary>


TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 23-Apr-14 10:05:42

Frond = friend.

Though maybe I will be a frond for a while.

<wafts breezily>

<runs fingers through sympathetic frond cathartically>

I am here because I am waiting for a large amount of text to paste, btw. Not slacking grin

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 23-Apr-14 12:19:55


scallopsrgreat Wed 23-Apr-14 12:32:47

Buffy (et al) you are doing so well! Are you worrying about the conclusion at the moment or does it seem so far away you can't think about it realistically?

It sounds like you are get overwhelmed a bit. I am now going to refer to your post of Wed 16-Apr-14 12:46:18!!

Bite size chunks. When I am doing long walks (several days long) it never helps to think about the destination. It helps to think about getting to lunch or even getting up the next hill or round the next bend.

Have you got a list of what still needs to be done (other than the number of words you still need to write)? That might help and get it clearer in your mind what you need to do to get to the destination. Focus on that rather than the destination itself.

<there maybe a bit of amateur sports psychology in there wink >

Thanks scallops in fact what I've done this morning is put the whole 76k word thesis into NVivo (qualitative data analysis programme) and started coding it for themes, so everything ties in with my conclusion.

I've only got about 4k words left until there is a reasonable draft. That 4k is, essentially, my conclusion.

But as I code, I keep noticing things that aren't very good or where I've made a note to myself to 'explain link between' or whatever and not yet written that linking paragraph. So I am feeling very overwhelmed with the plethora of little things that need doing. And the problem is I keep vowing to choose one thing and stick at it, but I keep getting distracted from it to do another task.

I think I am teetering on the edge of burnout actually. Yesterday, after taking the whole bank holiday weekend off to rest, I sat down at my screen and this huge dead weight of exhaustion descended. I think if I'd laid down at that point, 8:30am, I would've gone to sleep sad. But there's no option really, other than to keep plodding on.

scallopsrgreat Wed 23-Apr-14 13:13:06

Oh sweetheart. It is so easy for it to be such an overwhelming task. There will be a tipping point. Try keeping lists for those little tasks and then you don't lose them and you can box them off into the 'to be done later' category.

If it's any consolation I'm getting distracted too. I am trying to fit round pegs into square holes at the moment and not winning. Hence why I'm on MN.

kickassangel Wed 23-Apr-14 13:42:00

I always figure that when there's so much to do that you don't know what to tackle first, it probably doesn't matter all that much so long as you do something. I work ft, do an MA, have dd etc, sometimes my 'to do' lists actually expand to the point of needing a master list and subdivisions. When that happens I stop prioritizing, and just do whatever I feel like doing (or hate least if there isn't an option I like). And having a (reasonable) break, or going for a walk etc counts as doing stuff, particularly if it's followed by having a cup of tea and reading through stuff.

Even if you just end up adding notes etc, then you're still engaged with the work, thinking about it. Often my 'ta da' moments come after a bit of procrastination and vaguely reading through stuff. Somehow my brain whirs away in the background and gives me the answer before I really think about it.

And if you're really tired - get some sleep! I live for my naps.

Thanks. I do see some light at the end of the tunnel, but it feels like I have to race to finish it before my emotional resilience runs out. Feels like it will be a photo finish smile

Me2Me2 Wed 23-Apr-14 20:23:25

Oh the linking paragraph. little rotters take up 90% of my scant intellectual energy

I have 4k+ of words you can have. No linking paras tho. If I could think of a way to link them in they wouldn't be lying around

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 24-Apr-14 13:21:20

Hi Buffy

How be things today, verily, forsooth?

Well met my dear frond, pip pip old bracken, and other foliage related metaphors.

OK today thanks. Feeling slightly less teetery on the knife-edge of desperation about it. On the whole.

PS. I put all you pom pom waving lot in my acknowledgements. It sayth:

"To my staunch virtual cheerleading squad, thank you for waving your virtual pom poms for me."

Oh bum, probably should remove one of the 'virtuals' really. That's a whole damn word down the drain now sad

77k and counting.

Hmmm. Bad news. Just cut my hand on the sheared off handle of a mug. Couldn't stop it bleeding without strapping it up so tight that I can hardly move it. Not ideal typing conditions sad.

Me2Me2 Thu 24-Apr-14 15:24:39

Crikey take this brew


Just loosened the strapping very cautiously and there appears to be no more seepage…

Whoops, no. I'll give it a bit more time, methinks*

*nods to Doctrine

Me2Me2 Thu 24-Apr-14 15:28:54

I'm wondering about your mug though. Sounds like a kitchenware equivalent of a shorn-off shotgun
(or sawn off. I never know)

I think it's sawn off confused.

It just sort of separated, the bits flying off in different directions by way of a few mm under the skin of my hand. I liked that mug, too. Always treated it well…

Anyway, must get back to it. How's your writing going Me2?

Me2Me2 Thu 24-Apr-14 15:39:22

I'm so distracted this afternoon I've drawn up a calendar to work out how soon I can have another baby. This is particularly stupid given that my malaise today is down to being up all night with a sick baby

It really has not been a great day of work. I realised that I'm close to finishing half a chapter, not the whole thing. Not sure how I missed that fact (maybe someone's suggestion above to concentrate on one section at a time taken too literally).

And now Buffy has hurt her hand I don't feel it would be fair to continue alone

Me2Me2 Thu 24-Apr-14 15:42:22

I'm averaging 700-1000 words a day. And they aren't even new ones. maybe I should bin what I've got a free-write the rest of my book

I got my PhD out yesterday and realised that it is of higher quality than what I'm doing now. Depressing really. I haven;t published it yet and doubt I ever will

Me2Me2 Thu 24-Apr-14 15:46:37

yes sawn-off. Must be the lisp that led me to shorn off

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 27-Apr-14 19:21:20


Were you scared?


How's the hand?


Hand OK thanks.

Both dc have horrible colds today. Beds on both sofas and I am on sympathy and drinks duty.

Me2Me2 Mon 28-Apr-14 10:06:41

Dd has chickenpox. I've kept ds out of nursery (where dd would normally be too) to babysit her. (they're 1 & 2.3). They're watching tv next door while I work. Is there a bad mummy icon?

Bleugh. Poor DC.

I am wincing at the hand injury. I can just picture where that would cut. Ouch!

Yeah, just along the top of my palm. It's fine now smile

dd is watching Barbie and ds playing Minecraft. Apparently, 8.0 due soon. New blocks. I just nod and attempt to look wise grin

Glad it's fine. smile

Minecraft goes straight past me. Thank god.

I made a platform once, on one of ds's sky islands. I put a couple of what I thought were little palms at the corners but they grew into massive trees. Quite dwarfed my little platform! grin

Sadly not much work being done. Ds given up on Minecraft and come back to his sofa / bed. He must feel rough because he's shivering and watching Barbie Mariposa without complaint. I guess he gets to choose the next DVD...

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 28-Apr-14 13:13:26

DS2 had to have a minecraft creeper face cake.

I tried minecraft but it made me seasick. Buffy did you feed your palm trees bonemeal? Apparently that makes them grow enormous. Like real life. grin I told DSs that they will have to be able to identify all those types of tree in real life or else ...

I might've put bonemeal on it. Tbh I am lucky to co-ordinate enough to look where I am walking. Walking through doors rather than demolishing them by accident is beyond me confused.

Perhaps I ought to make more effort. It can't be that hard.

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 28-Apr-14 15:01:10

The DC have built amazing structures (and traps for dropping unsuspecting villagers into lava hmm). I can see its appeal. But it does make me feel seasick and I can't kill any of the animals without feeling squeamish. blush I think I'd probably dispatch zombies and TNT everything else quite happily though.

Oh yeah, that's why I don't mind ds playing it. He's made all sorts of incredible systems using redstone. It's a really clever game.

kickassangel Tue 29-Apr-14 02:00:36

Interesting though this is, how's that work going? wink

Not brilliantly sad.

Both dc are still off, though feeling better. Or at least ds is, who was the one with the high temp and shivers yesterday. dd is still aslumber, which I think is a good thing as she's coughing at night.

Both will be home today and as dh misunderstood my text confirming that this would be the case so he could plan to work at home / take a day (in his defence, he's hugely stressed at work) I am On Duty again and likely to miss…

<taps earpiece>

I'm getting reports dh may have obtained some files to work at home so perhaps not a total bust…

Will keep viewers updated.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 29-Apr-14 14:52:26

Buffy I hope you have written lots and lots. I, on the other hand, am feeling really stressed after amending 5 pages of my student's writing. I am going to go and soak myself in the swimming pool now. But my waterproof watch has run out of battery. I'll see if DS1 will let me wear his.

I haven't written much, but have done lots of reviewing and restructuring today. Put the whole 200+ pages into a single document and now I can see for the first time the logic and flow (or lack of same) of the whole thing.

dd was dropped off with my mum today. Ds is sitting beside me eating coco pops relatively quietly and drawing a picture in the hope that he might get into Stampy's Love Garden grin

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 29-Apr-14 23:50:39

One document! Hooray!

One document indeed!

Dc are mended and dispatched back to the real world and I'm back working. Feeling reasonably positive today and have made good progress so far.

Me2Me2 Fri 02-May-14 13:12:15

Hows it going Buffy et al? I really have to finish the present chapter before traveling on wednesday or I'll lose my train of thought

HoVis2001 Mon 05-May-14 00:51:18

Single document time - congratulations! Now back it up in a hundred different locations.

kickassangel Wed 07-May-14 15:49:50

I lost this thread for a while.

Buffy - how's it going?

Hello everyone. Still plugging away, though there have been some interruptions for illness (dc, then me, now dh).

My final deadline is 1st July so less time than I thought shock.

I think I will be in for some late nights soon.

Ooh, sorry, I had not realized you knew your deadline yet. Good luck! You can do it.

CaptChaos Fri 09-May-14 13:43:36

Surely late nights as deadlines loom closer is traditional?

Good luck!

<feminist pom-poms a-waving>

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 09-May-14 14:13:28

Gimme a B, gimme a U, gimme an F, F, Y!
She's gonna be done by first of July!

<waves pom poms>

kickassangel Fri 09-May-14 18:56:26

Buffy's cheer team

Me2Me2 Mon 12-May-14 09:39:38

A stern cheer team, I wouldn't want to disappoint them

1st July is a kind of deadline for me too as we're going on holiday on the 2nd.

I'm just back from a conference which has both enthused me and left me feeling that my project is a little out of date. And a book review I did last week sent me into deep depression as I realised that some of the values I was looking for in that study are not indeed present in my own shock sad

Well it's all guns a blazing for July 1st then smile

I think that academic work is always out of date in the sense that someone is always working on a really interesting perspective or project. And it's never finished, because it can always be improved. Like a step on a journey?

At the very least, you can be very reflective and critical in the 'limitations of the study' section and suggest some really good directions for future research. Some of which you might want to pursue yourself grin

I just need to plod towards the finish line now.

HoVis2001 Fri 16-May-14 19:44:54

Go Buffy! I hope you are planning a relaxing weekend away from the thesis....

The writing-up period feels like a distant fantasy to me, until I remind myself that I am technically almost a third of the way through my PhD. Where did the last year go?! I sometimes find it slightly hard to believe that I will get all of the research and writing done in the requisite time. So, I definitely salute anyone who is actually about to finish. grin

Me2Me2 Mon 19-May-14 09:10:57

New week new resolve. How's it going Buffy? I have made some interim deadlines and will work evenings if I don't make them. I can;t come back from holiday to more of the same

I am trying to finish the whole thing by the first week of June. Trouble is, I've now reached the point where there aren't easy and obvious targets to aim for, so I'm not really sure how I am progressing.

Perhaps I should spend a bit of time going through it and working out what needs to be done and making a plan. I don't want to fall into the Rimmer revision timetable trap though grin

Me2Me2 Mon 19-May-14 12:30:15

ha ha I have never had much patience for plans so no danger here. I remember someone at uni tried to learn Arabic by learning the dictionary from the beginning

79,195 words now. Nearly there...

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Tue 20-May-14 17:06:19

Bodacious, dude!

Most definitely.


When I break the 80,000 barrier, it will magically just be done. Right? Right?

Meant 79,869.

Sometime my brain just doesn't do numbers.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Wed 21-May-14 17:05:49


There are three more words!

81,200 odd now. Nonsense may be an apposite word sad

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Wed 21-May-14 17:10:01

Wyld Stallyn-esque

Better? grin

Me2Me2 Mon 02-Jun-14 11:06:01

How are you doing Buffy?
I'm having to include new research and other tasks keep coming in, which means I won't meet my notional 1 July deadline. I've resigned myself to working on holiday shock

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