The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Thesis Blues pt.7

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I mailed the first chunk of my thesis to my advisor today. 32 pages.

I noted to her that one of the areas where I am having trouble is, “Getting to the point where the reader knows that I see my understanding of Jim intersecting with my career; how I see him as representative of my students and if I understand him, I’m a better teacher for my students. I guess that’s the purpose of the story, and so far it’s little more than inferred.” A funny thing about my writing processes: I know this has been a problem all along, but finally having the balls to declare it as such and at least write about it a little bit is the first step to addressing the problem. So, ever since about 3PM this afternoon, I’ve been flipping solutions around in my head. I need to rearrange some elements of the story and write a new part that will be inserted early on in the narrative that will serve to justify the whole thing. Now maybe I should write down some of those thoughts before I forget them.

As if I could forget them.

I bought two sets of special post-it notes tonight at Target. One is a set of page markers so I can tab specific pages as I read a few of the books I’m using for research. The other is a set of rather large post-it notes that I can stick on the specific pages and use to jot down notes as I’m reading. Then, I can quickly review what I wrote at some later point and at least start to piece together content based on thoughts I was having as I was reading. I usually don’t work like this. I usually sit at my computer and write as I read (and mark directly in the book; but these books aren’t mine), incorporating research as I go along. But I had a vision of myself reading in bed, on the couch, during class, whenever, and saw myself using the post-it notes to keep track of thoughts. I guess I’m following my vision. This is probably a good habit to start, which gets me back to why I chose to write this particular thesis anyhow. I knew it was going to cause some significant changes in me as a writer, both my processes and my abilities. This is but one of them.

I frequently have whacked visions regarding writing. A frequent one usually comes early in the week when I think about writing over the next weekend. For some reason, I see myself from outside myself, usually sitting at a Panera (there are about 6 Paneras that I frequent within 15 miles of my condo). But I envision myself sitting at a specific Panera. Whichever one has been dialed up in my vision is the one I have to go to the following weekend. I think I see myself at the Gurnee Panera this Sunday, though I’m not sure I’m going to write Sunday.

BTW… my thesis advisor is S.L. Wisenberg. She’s a co-director of the Northwestern writing program. Aside from the books and other stories she has published, she has written the acclaimed blog Cancer Bitch for some time now. You can find it here: http://cancerbitch.blogspot.com.

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Written by seeker70

January 3, 2009 at 4:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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