Yesterday I met with my supervisor and we established a rough timeline of events for me to complete the current stage (candidacy) in my program. Candidacy, for those unfamiliar with the process, is the first three chapters of the dissertation which are defended in an oral exam. If you pass the exam you become a PhD candidate, or ABD. This is done instead of comprehensive exams and the dissertation proposal.
Because I had two major surgeries in eleven months, I am a little bit ‘behind’ in the process. If I didn’t need the surgeries–which effectively put me behind 18 months in my program–I assume I would have already defended. The goal is for me to submit my first draft in the first week of September, and ideally defend by the first week of December.
To do that, I have to write around 85 pages. Candidacy drafts in my department are usually between 80 and 100 pages, and I have five or so pages already written. I have two other things I need to work on during the next couple of months as well: a conference paper to write and present (which thankfully will inform some of my candidacy) for June 1st, and a book chapter draft due August 30th. Potentially I may have revisions for other things submitted (or dealing with their rejection…), copy editing assignments, grant and scholarship proposals, and TA/RA applications to content with as well. All of these things are possible detractors from my reaching my goal.
The point of me writing this is to make myself accountable to someone (Many someones? Whomever reads my rantings?) as I find that method of goal setting works well for me. I have also downloaded the Limitless Extension for Chrome to help me from procrastinating on my ‘work’ computer (versus my ‘tv’ computer or my phone…I need to start somewhere, right?).
For the week starting May 10, 2015 until the week ending August 15, 2015 (less a week off from May 27th to June 3rd while I am at Congress) I will write 7 pages per week. Writing 7 pages a week for 12 weeks is 84 pages, and with my current five drafted pages I should have a draft of ~90 pages.
I plan to update my progress on Sundays as a means of me staying accountable. Words of encouragement are much appreciated, as are silly animal gifs, fun things in the mail, and snacks.
Wish me luck.