Sunday, January 18, 2009

Panicky post

This is a get-it-out-of-my-system post I'm afraid, so look away now if you like. I'm really struggling with this sodding thesis at the moment. I keep having these horrible thoughts that maybe all the good feedback I've had from my supervisors is wrong and there's some dreadful underlying problem with my work that they haven't mentioned because they want me to finish the thing on time. I know it's ridiculous, as any disasters should have been picked up years ago, but it's that annoying paranoia and insecurity that niggles at me when I'm tired and I've got loads to do.

It's a bit weird getting to the end of about 7 years work, which is what it is - the final month of all that. I'm scared I won't be able to finish the corrections on time and won't do myself justice. I've done a timetable of the remaining days that I can actually work on this when I'm not at work, up to the end of Feb, and it's so dreadfully packed with corrections... it's making me feel a bit panicky which I really don't like, and it makes me freeze and do nothing, so not very productive.

It's all so stupid really, all this panicking.... I have heard the same thing from so many other people doing PhDs. Loads of them say it on the forum, from the first year right up to the end. It's normal, but not nice. You get so close to your work over so many years that it's hard to see it from an outside perspective, and given the number of people who have actually read it... you can count them on the fingers of one hand.... Maybe it's not surprising that occasionally you think yeah, I think it's ok, but maybe I'm horribly deluded in my strange, secluded way of thinking and it's really crap and I just didn't realise.

It's quite bizarre how one actually chooses to do this thing, to spend so long veering between satisfaction with what one's doing and dreadful waves of selfdoubt. Are we a really peculiar type of person to want to do this???? I really don't know. It feels like a strange academic version of the Freemasons but without the handshakes. Shrouded in mystery unless you've been there and done that. If someone's done a doctorate they know what you've been through, like some funny little select group of academic masochists and no one understands unless they've done it themselves. It's a rather curious rite of passage, in some ways...

Anyway, I must remember that it's an original and really interesting piece of work, and there's a good feeling surrounding it at the moment, so all the hard work and angst will be worth it in the end. Not my words btw, but the supervisor's feedback on the draft before Xmas. Oh well, I'd better get on with it again.... *sigh*....


deb said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to catch up with online reading...especially blogs.

I am sure with comments such as you have received, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Okay, maybe just a tad about completing on time, but you've been working very diligently and I'm sure it will happen.

Not much longer and just think of the reward!

Claire said...

Thanks, and no need to apologise btw, I've been the same and life just takes over.

I think it will be a difficult month ahead, but doable if I get on with it and don't get despondent or distracted. I'll probably be a bit sporadic on the blogging front until the end of Feb (so what's new??!!) so will apologise in advance for any absences, but as someone said recently, soon I can blog to my heart's content!