Thursday, May 14, 2009


The dissertation giveth, and the dissertation taketh away...

Where to begin with this one?

Let's see...

First, I am writing "full time" again. And when I say writing, what I really mean to say is that I wake up in the morning, sit down with a cup of tea and something to nibble on, and make a few productive paragraphs until I realize that I am starving again--usually around 11 am. After an impromptu "lunch", which usually involves a bowl of yogurt with muesli mix, I stare and fidget for 5 more hours. I check my email a zillion times and watch as the East Coast begins to wake up on Facebook. I attempt to edit what I have written, and chew through a pack of sugar free gum in the process. Orally fixated, I have eaten far too many dried apricots, and have subsequentally noted to self: "No more apricots, Namaste." After several more cups of tea and many trips to the bathroom, where I brush my hair and examine the weird freckle that has recenly appeared above my upper lip, I finally give up on my productive day of writing.

My late afternoon activity involves going to the gym that I have recently joined at the downtown YMCA, where I unstealthly attempt to bypass the trainers persons of the gym as they wander around the cardio room. Apparently, I have a sign on my head that says, "Please come up and attempt to socialize with me when I am pounding out my day of frustrations and angst at the highest speed I can possibly go on the treadmill and cannot speak because I am out of breath." Or is this sign on my ass? I am starting to think that it is the latter. The trainer guys themselves are all possessed of intimidatingly developed bicep muscles, which is quite a unique sight for men in the Middle East.

In total, I am working on working. More importantly, I am working on having a longer attention span.

Please, G-d, just let this thing be done.

And here, I would just like to add that it is such a terrible feeling to look at everything that must be noted, fashioned, written and accomplished...and meanwhile, I sit frozen, fretting over the wording of my Facebook updates...

Writer's block, indeed.



Laura said...

I remember writing my senior thesis. Most. Painful. Thing. Ever.

Much much luck to you. And what's wrong with "slow and steady" wins the race? A few paragraphs a day is cause for celebration, frankly. Most people don't get half as far.

Light on the comments lately (talking about me) but always reading and rooting you on.

Namaste said...

Thanks, Laura. It really is the most painful thing ever. I won't do it again, I promise you. I have been thinking about you. Hope all is well. Be in touch, will ya?

hannahjustbreathe said...

My graduate thesis was a measly 110-page piece of "creative nonfiction," and by God, the thing nearly killed me. Rather, writing it nearly killed me.

But, we writers---somehow, on some obscure day (even if we don't recognize it as we sit at our keyboards, gnawing on lips or gum or apricots), we finish. The block is surmountable, breakable. You will get over it, or through it, or around it. Whichever course you take, an end still exists.

Good luck with getting there!! Rather, good luck with the writing. :)

VJ said...

I tried to do about a page a day. With notes & footnotes. Written longhand. Before Google. (By 'coal' lamplight, natch). But it's the production that has to be done. To this day the wife complains about how she had to type Some of it up, (as I owned no computer). She hears me waxing on something ecological in the landscape and just sighs. 'Well I remember when...'. It was a battle. About 450P and I left so many things out, I'm ashamed to think back on it sometimes. The work is solid still, but the 'history' section went to 60-75 pages though.

I had buds who did math & stats who turned in 50-60P wonders too. Another bud my same department did an 'experimental' deal he invented got away with about 80P. It was the most ridiculously simple thing I ever read on that level. Yet it got him a fine job way back when & quickly enough to marry one of his comely young students who always fell for him every opening semester. Lucky Tom we called him. One of the last of the generation to get the traditional tenure track too. It lasted for a few spare years while I was fighting in the wilderness with few guides nor much encouragement.

As luck would have it I was saved from the life by a spate of 'misfortune & misadventure'. As the wife put it this eve, I'm now a 'rich country gent come bumkin'. I still recall where we got the hooch from way back when you had to know someone to pick up the clear plastic gallons of the liquid refreshment from the likes of 'Popcorn' Sutton. But none of it helped in the end. You've just got to buckle down & write. Have the Facebook crowds send encouragement & food if they want to be helpful too! Cheers & Good Luck, 'VJ'

Le Kutz said...

To quote my lifetime literary infatuation Anais Nin:

"Oh! The pathological basis of creation!"

I hope you were willingly swallowed by your dissertation, and are immersed in a storm of genius. Or at least productivity. ;)