Novel · PhD · Reflection

PhD vs. Novel vs. Life

I am completely new to the blogging world. I read lots of them, and even follow some religiously, but I never considered having my own. Seemed a bit like a snowflake trying to yell in a blizzard.

But I grew curious about the process last summer, and set up this wordpress account, and fiddled with themes, and dabbled in the whatchamajigs and the fancy hoojama-whatsits, and….did nothing. I wrote a post about trying to juggle my PhD and the novel I’m writing, and never actually posted it.

Cut to now, six months later. I have finished the first draft of my novel (though I’m still struggling with the PhD stuff), and I got some incredibly kind feedback after posting the first paragraph of it on one of those blogs that I follow religiously. Then someone asked me to share my blog name, and…well…here we are.

(By the way, that blog is Chuck Wendig’s crazy amazing http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/ – please to clicky and be enlightened.)

I thought I would finally post that long-forgotten blog-post draft, but I wanted to add a little intro, and say: Hi Internet. It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me! And thanks to those commenters who inspired me to get my blog up and running finally.

I’m hoping it will be a fun space for sharing weird, wonderful things (with lots of parenthetical asides), and I’m thinking I’ll post a bit more of my novel for anyone who is interested. And if you are – thank you for reading!

The First Post That Never Was:

(From August 2014)

Multi-tasking is a devilishly tricky thing. I’m finding that some days I’m good at it, some days I’m not. Especially while trying to balance two massive writing projects at the same time. Oh and life. Life “gets in the way” sometimes. But that saying has always been strange to me. Life doesn’t “get in the way” – I think we get in the way of our lives, if that makes sense…or maybe not.

Well anyway, I’m going into the final year of my PhD, and slowly chipping away at my dissertation. Just chugging along, trying to write the dang thing. What I’m writing right now ain’t pretty, but my main goal is just getting the words on the page. I started this novel project last year precisely because I could not write my dissertation. I was stuck, and writing the novel was a cathartic way to actually produce something. I kept with it, and it has kept me afloat during some hard times this year.

Ironically, now that I’m writing the dissertation (finally!), my novel has fallen by the wayside. And this has coincided with my reaching a point in the novel’s plot where there is a shift in tone and time-line, so I’ve gotten stuck on how best to make that transition. And the tables have turned – now I’m writing the dissertation because I can’t write the novel. Or at least, I’m struggling with both of them now.

Granted, the dissertation is more important. But the novel, well it feels like a friend. A friend who was there for me when the going got rough, but who I’ve drifted from slightly, as sometimes happens. Yet I know that it’s always there, it’s always hovering in that Word file, waiting patiently for me to complete it. And complete it I will…

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