I love my diatribes
So far, I really haven’t said much about my PhD work on this site. The main reason for that is that, recently, with me having been feeling under the weather, I really haven’t had the energy or motivation to get cracking on it. Now, however, two things have conspired to change that. First of all, I’m feeling quite a bit better, and can now turn my mind to things other than my constant nausea (which, mercifully, I’ve been clear of for nearly a weak now) and pains (which are now much less severe than they were this time last week). Secondly, the supervisor of my MLitt dissertation, who is currently away on leave, is having a catch-up session on Wednesday and asked me if I would be interested in meeting up with her to discuss my progress. Of course, I said yes, and decided to use the opportunity to get something written so that, when I traipse into the university on Wednesday, we won’t both be staring at a blank sheet of paper.
I always find that I work best when I have a deadline. It’s not that I can’t motivate myself, but I tend to find that I’m at my most lucid when I know I’ve promised to hand in x number of words by y date. The last 24-48 hours before a deadline are often when I get my best work done, and I’m not sure why, as I don’t typically make a habit of leaving everything to the last minute. Still, my current supervisor (the one who isn’t on leave) had suggested to me that I get writing as soon as possible, so that I don’t get into the habit of letting the work pile up and suddenly find myself in my final year of my PhD with nothing down on paper.
At our last meeting, it was agreed that I’d put together a piece of writing explaining (a) what a giallo is and (b) why I think this is a worthwhile field of study. I was originally to discuss it with him last week, but my ill health put paid to that, so it was only this afternoon that I finally completed the assignment. It’s just over 4,200 words long, approximately 3,000 of which were written today (I’m definitely one of those “bang it out quickly” people), and, while I doubt that any of it will be used in my final thesis, and it doesn’t even touch on the issues of gender and identity that I hope to begin to explore in the near future, it has helped me to crystallise some thoughts and, perhaps more importantly, has eased me back into the process of academic writing, which I hadn’t done in over a year. Anyway, I’m reasonably satisfied with what I’ve written, even if I’m still not entirely sure how it fits into the grand scheme of things. I often find that, once I’ve completed a project, whether it’s a review, an essay or whatever, I feel strangely fulfilled, so, right now, I’m feeling light-headed and quite pleased with myself. Come tomorrow, I’m sure I’ll be able to find a million things wrong with what I’ve written, but right now, I’m just glad to have made what I feel is a decent enough start at what is going to be a long, long project.
Oh, and I got to use the phrase “academic snobbery” in an academic essay. I wonder how that‘ll go down.