Wednesday, August 22, 2007


After two years of finding more reasons not to write than to write i have quite a bit of experience procrastinating and finding excuses to avoid working on my dissertation. I want to share this wealth of information with others struggling to get their dissertations done, or more accurately, those looking for ways to avoid writing.

Writing a blog is actually a new tactic for me, but merits notice. Method one: start a blog. On that note, another very effective way of avoiding dissertation work is to read other people's blogs and follow all the hyperlinks that interest you. Without fail you will end up wasting a considerable amount of time learning useless stuff about people you will never meet. Method two: read other people's blogs.

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about when i was a kid and had to do the dinner dishes two nights a week. If i just did the dishes it usually only took 20-30 minutes, but i usually moped around the kitchen for a good 30-40 minutes picking up a dish here and a utensil there, reading the newspaper, or muttering under my breath about my cruel parents who made me do the dishes before i actually started really doing the dishes. As a result, the job usually took me closer to an hour. As i was sharing this experience my friend said, "oh, that's kind of like finishing your dissertation. If you just did it you could get it done in half the amount of time it's been taking you."

Oh, how the truth smarts.

It's actually often said (nice use of the passive voice) that the hardest thing about writing is getting your ass in the chair. This blog is for all those who have a hard time getting their asses in the chair, most specifically myself. You see, this blog is actually more of an attempt to hold myself responsible and get my dissertation done. Others who are cheering for me (or ready to fire me if i don't finish) can check in and see my progress. I promise regular updates about how things are coming along.

Another effective way to avoid diss work: check your email for the umpteenth time.

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