I’m calling it the funnel effect. The process of writing up my dissertation is like fitting an umbrella the size of a planet into a box the size of an ant. Every day I find new pieces of information which weren’t there before and I gather them up – that’s me in the corner – with a Phd head and increasing sense of panic. How to know which words to use? Not find them in the first place, I’ve 100’s of 1000’s of the pesky things in 50 shades of font design. It’s more about how to identify the ones I need.
Then – instead of narrowing them down – I get side tracked and end up adding even more. Today it was phenomenography which is one of those linguistic research tricks to see if you can pronounce the word never mind produce a description of what it means. For some reason, known only to the deep web part of my brain, I decided action research was like ethnography because as the researcher I was in the position of observer – so maybe I wasn’t doing action research at all. Affliction of doubt is a common doctoral disease. Somehow, and only google history can explain this one, I ended up in a phenomenographical paradigm and another hour had passed. At least by then I’d forgotten about the ethnography .
Now I’m blogging which is another diversion and distraction technique. I’m good at D&D’s. In a previous life I would clean the oven rather than get on with the task in hand. It became a joke how a clean oven signified an assignment deadline. Today I have the internet. It’s amazing I get anything done at all. I’ve a weakness for cute kittens and babbling babes– have you seen the one about….
I get up early, make coffee, greet the laptop and begin. Three hours later I’ve done nothing of any value towards my dissertation other than add a few more hundred words which I’ll probably take out again tomorrow. Oh, and a blog post, aspirationally tagged PhD but in reality it should be the other P for Procrastination. They could give me a doctorate in that ten times over!