Although it may not have been evident to all, I have been intermitting from my DPhil for the past few months. I faced a few family crises back in May and really could not see how I could cope with them and with the final push to getting my thesis written by the end of September.
I am now officially back at university and have a submission date of 7th January 2013 to aim at. If at all possible I want to hit it, so I can begin to think about getting on with the rest of life. However for the present, I need to put my blinkers on and focus on writing!
The past few months have been invaluable. I have been able to give the time I needed to family stuff, including some serious retirement planning, but as importantly, it has given me the permission and space to take several steps back from my writing and to see the wood for the trees (or vice versa!) As already documented in this blog, I realised I had got myself in a trap – something, I don’t think I would have seen without the break – and I was able to do a fair bit of additional reading that helped contextualise my thinking and see parallels and links with other ideas relevant to my work. Perhaps best of all, I discovered Bourdieu and found I was reading, understanding and seeing the relevance of what I read.
Returning to my thesis. I currently plan on having nine – or possibly ten chapters (not sure whether 9 and 10 can/should be combined). Of those, six chapters are in a reasonable state. One needs an additional chunk of writing, one is basically written but needs major editing, and the third (9/10) has some ideas, but needs pulling into shape. In addition, there is one appendix to write – the others are done – and the front matter to sort out.
After that, I guess it is a case of reading, editing, tidying up, sorting out references, checking formatting, etc, etc.
Three months should be long enough – I hope!
Hints and tips welcome.