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    Sobriquet 38.11

    Friday, January 11, 2008
    Well, I wrote another few paragraphs, roughly as much text as I produced yesterday. The anxiety that had besieged me yesterday morning returned this afternoon as I thought about picking up where I left off. I have trouble trying not to think about the size of the whole project (you know, looking at a couple of pages as a whopping one percent of the dissertation), which can be daunting. All the predictable internal menaces have arrived: the wondering if I have enough material to make this thing work, the fear that I have not yet prepared enough material, the doubts about the quality of my writing. . .and the litany continues, ad naseum.

    The one thing I have been trying to keep at the forefront of my mind the past two days is that I must approach this anxiety not as an adversary that will prevent me from working but as something I must confront face-to-face and address reasonably. I cannot help but think of cognitive-behavioral therapy for individuals suffering from a phobia as the best model for me to follow. Just as an arachnophobic person must allow spiders to crawl around his or her skin, accepting the onslaught of terror until it subsides, so must I face the doubts and fears I have regarding the dissertation, accept them as a part of me, welcome the occasional flood of anxiety, and move on, one damn step at a time.

    Still, even if it does suck, there's always the backspace key.

    I also read a good deal more of The Master of Petersburg and think I may bring it into my discussion of Coetzee's work. I have not quite finished the twenty pages I hope to get through, but I will finish it this evening before bed, as a sort of treat before what promises to be a long night of tossing and turning. I start my new job tomorrow and have to wake up quite a bit earlier than I have become accustomed to this past month. In other words, the time I am normally beginning to fall asleep must now become the time I wake up in the morning, give or take and hour or two...It's going to feel like jet-lag for the next few days, I'm sure.

    I also want to thank those of you who have been leaving supportive comments or who have sent me encouraging emails. It really does mean a great deal to me to have the friends that I do and I am grateful for your kind words.

    For tomorrow: Since the day is going to be packed, just try to read a bit more in the novel and, if I'm not too tired, try to squeeze out a few more words.


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  1. Welcome back to the working world, my friend. Be not nervous, for you will do well. And later I shall force you to relax and watch movies and I'll even stop at Wegmans and find something delicious to eat before I come over. I'll also bring some knitting with me, just in case you want to knit, too.

    P.S. I use the backspace key A LOT. It's probably the second most used key on my keyboard...the first being probably the E.

    By Blogger minxy on 11 January, 2008

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