Wednesday, October 13, 2010

not getting very far, fast

I have been around a lot of students lately, the one that lives here is promising a month of pmt, and Im thinking it must be that time of the year.
The ones training to be counsellors on a young people's helpline for two weeks have been practicing skills on each other; number one issue is not getting the work in, they describe it as a fear of procrastination. They seem hard on themselves. I think they are tired.
And its how i feel too; I found i had spent an hour reediting a chapter having forgotten what was in it, after putting it down for two weeks, and then discovering it was an old copy...
I'm concerned that I am losing the plot for a lack of thinking time.
And worried if i dont do it all the time, i'm back to forgetting what i had done...

So, having been practiced on by a novice counsellor, I went searching for the a time management tool to block time, so i would at least have tracked a path of work in another way. ..
instead distracted, not procrastinating, i found this. Its worth repeating. It's by Julian le Grand and he talks of PhD supervision, but also of academic papers.
He describes - where 90% is done but it doesnt get finished
Ive felt 80% finished all this year...
he suggests a misplaced perfectionism
I have re-edited and re edited and then removed patches...

All the loose ends have to be tied up, every argument must be polished, every counter-argument effectively rebutted.

oooh i havent yet rebutted...
Once the thesis is submitted, the article sent to a journal, or the book manuscript dispatched to the publisher, they are open to judgment. No longer can they, or their author, remain in the realm of glittering potential; now they, and their author, are out there in the open, for peer assessment - and for peer criticism.
No i dont think thats quite it
Nonehteless he does say , both positions are needing to be faced. And then he says
Nothing can ever be perfect, nothing immune from potential critique. There will never be a finishing point where it is all done. To misquote someone else – Iris Murdoch, I think, but irritatingly I’ve never been able to find the source - you never finish a piece of academic work; you only abandon it.

I know it will never be perfect...i just want it strong enough to survive.
And I know it just needs a bit more time in the womb.

Today's writing was slow, but it was an uphill part of the journey.
Having meandered my way a path, i could mark the distance covered, the journey taken, map the scenic route and fix it. Ive got a route mapped retrospectively, cleaned it up. looks like i knew where i was going before i got there. Nice tidy research. Retrospectively.
I have alot more respect now for Deleuze, G., & Guattari(1987) A thousand plateaus... daring to write in a stream of consciousness. Dont think the thesis committee of markers would like it though. Maybe a postscript will suffice. or i save it for here :) where grammar and trajectories don't matter.

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