Much has happened since I last wrote! The publication that I had madly been editing last time, needed more editing. Writing for publication is incredibly difficult and time consuming. The end product however, is something to be appreciated. When I think about the time the three reviewers took to send me quality feedback, the time the special issue editor took to proof my work and then the very detailed editions required by the journal’s chief editor, I am in awe of how much time each of them spent pushing and challenging me to strive for excellence. Writing may seem to be a solo journey, but around us and beside us are those who teach, mentor, push and challenge.
Most recently I was accepted to attend a Thesis Boot Camp – yes a weekend by the beach on the NSW coastline – writing intensively! Funnily enough – the only time we get to walk down along the beach is at 7.00am for a walk and half an hour when it is time to pack up to leave. The rest of the time is taken up with intensive writing sessions. We are very privileged, though to have Inger Mewburn, the Thesis Whisperer with us. Dr Mewburn is also the Director of Research Training at ANU. I am very excited about participating in this weekend, but I must admit, I am feeling anxious about how I will go. Then I tell myself, well even if I only achieve half of what I had hoped, then I have achieved more than I would staying at home! Mind you, I do love the place that we are going to – Kioloa. I went there a couple of years ago in my first year at ANU. It was beautiful!
As to writing my thesis, I have taken up the 500 words a day mantra and this month I can report being successful, four days out of the 11. However, I must admit in that time I have marked 17 undergraduate 1,500 word essays, marked the tutorial discussion board and today I have focused on developing the structure of my thesis and planning for the thesis boot camp. I am feeling rather excited with where I am at with my thesis as I can finally see it taking shape and am feeling confident that I can write a good thesis. Much of the journey this year has been about facing the thesis itself. Knowing that I have read enough and committing to writing it up, has been excruciatingly difficult. It is an emotional and mental battle that has taken a toll, but finally the glimmer of ability to succeed as an academic is beginning to take hold.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.