Tried a new work strategy today of writing down everything I did and how long it took me to do it (hat-tip to galaxy). Not counting breaks and procrastination, I worked solidly for five and a half hours. That’s a bit embarrassing, but there you go. I’m tired now. My brain doesn’t want to make any more connections. The first thing I did was read over the last third of chapter 5, and identified the problem I was skirting and needed to be solved. I then re-read a few chapters/articles to help me clarify what I needed to understand. I then made a list of possible arguments/conclusions/implications. This cut through the block I had, as previously I had felt that I needed to come up with the answer straight away, couldn’t do it, and so avoided it. This time, I let myself think: ok, it might not be this, but it might be. And it might be this… Otherwise you manage to talk yourself out of all possible arguments and you never get anywhere.
Then I went back to another major critic and tried to clarify some more things. Realised that the problem I was having in chapter five was linked to some major contextualisation and positioning work that I need to do in the introduction. So wrote a list of things that I want to address in two to three paragraphs tomorrow, which will go into the introduction.
I’m still feeling a bit wary of theories and methodologies, but it’s got to be done. And attacking it through a problem that needs to be solved in my final chapter will (I hope) give me the clarity I need to start bringing it all together. I ended up with eleven scrawled pages of notes, and a couple of paragraph fragments that might make it into the thesis somewhere.
Even though this is still slow-going, at least I worked in a sensible, methodical manner today instead of throwing my hands up in despair. One day at a time!
Also, luckily, it’s raining. Rain is good for writing, good indeed. From my desk, I can see it channel down off the tin roof and hear it land in the courtyard puddles.