When you see the finish line…

Someday, I’ll sit down and post about the fabulous short getaway I had in New Orleans last week with my younger sister. Someday, I’ll write about my changing use of technology and my thoughts on the topic. Not, of course, today.

If I’ve had little time for blogging lately – and in the near future – it’s because I’m in the final stretch. As of yesterday, I officially have a dissertation defense date (April 20) and a deadline for getting the dissertation to my committee members (March 30). In the next 15 days, I’ll be tweaking, shortening, editing, and otherwise getting my dissertation in shape for my own long-awaited D-Day (Defense Day).

It’s not my style to completely eschew all else so I can write. It’s possible I’ll pop in here next week to talk about the process of finalizing the dissertation…but then again, it’s possible you won’t see me for a few weeks. It all depends on how things go and what I feel like.

For now, Chapter 1 is calling. I hope to get it in shape today, which means some revamps to the introductory section and some tweaks to the body and conclusion. At the moment, I’ve got a pile of paragraphs in front of me, because last night I sliced and diced Chapter 1 so I can pay closer attention to it. I’ve discovered that looking at individual paragraphs can be a great way to hone in on problematic topic sentences, passive voice, questions of agency (difficult when you write about the military and the government), and repetition.

Once I get through the pile of paragraphs, I’ll go section by section to get a slightly bigger picture, then make all the edits I want. With any luck, I’ll get this thing tamed today and begin work on Chapter 2.

I can see the finish lines now, and I’m ready to sprint for ’em. The first one’s just over two weeks away. Bring it!


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