I’ve woken up this morning feeling quite excited about my thesis and wanting to get on with writing it!
During the summer, I did a lot of work on pulling together the content of my thesis and putting ideas into what I have thought of as buckets or containers. These buckets have had fairly standard titles like lit review, methodology, findings, discussion, etc, but I have been aware that in most cases the contents were ill-formed and often disconnected. While knowing what my thesis was about, I was very unclear what I was actually saying, and more importantly how I was going to say it. It was like having a jigsaw where I had sorted out the pieces into piles, the sky, some of the bigger objects, the corner pieces and some of the side pieces, but I had no idea what the final picture might be, or how I might join the pieces together to create that picture.
The picture is still not created – doing that is almost certainly some months away. What has changed is I have a clear sense in my own mind of how that picture might look and I can begin to take action to move some of the jigsaw pieces around and begin the task of creating the picture. Instead of wondering how to present my argument without really being clear what the argument was, I now have a sense of both what my argument is and how it can be presented.
Today’s task is to make a rough sketch of the outline of the picture and begin moving some of the pieces into place. Over the coming weeks, the task will be to join the pieces together, first in sections and then in a whole, in order to create a thesis which says what I want to say clearly and cogently and which links together the various different perspectives contained within it.
This morning I am feeling excited, and a little scared, because I sense I actually do know what I need to do, and I do know how to begin to do it. I am standing on a viewpoint, looking at the landscape laid out before me. No doubt as I move into that landscape and get caught up in some of the detail, I will find myself confused and wondering in what direction to go, but for the moment at least, I am feeling excited and have a road map in my hands.