Monday, 1 February 2016

Post 70: Cultivating Urgency and Sticking with 20 Minutes

Spring has sprung in Victoria and I'm finally feeling much better: the strep throat is feeling like an already distant memory, the antibiotics are gone, and I've had a productive weekend of working, some socializing, biking around, and thesis writing.

Every night before I've gone to bed for the last three days, my journal entries have been filled with encouraging notes to myself: I can finish this thesis. I can do this. I've been reflecting on how to instil a sense of urgency, which I think I need in order to complete this project, and I think it's been working.

I had a very productive 3 hour writing/editing session with Karen yesterday, and today is following suit. I keep asking myself: what do I need to accomplish right now? What comment am I tracking down in which transcript? Who said what here? Which footnote needs to be filled?

This amazing hellebore! One of my favourite flowers, grown from seed by my friend Emma! 
I know I've written about this in the past, but I affirm once more that I find it debilitating to think too far into the future about timeline and finishing. All I can do it work on the sub-theme I have in front of me, the sentence, the punctuation, the quote. No, I shouldn't be checking my email. I need to look at the article this participant referenced here. No, I shouldn't be on Facebook. Right now, I need to make this a block quote.
The first cherry tree I've seen blooming in Victoria. This image from a few days ago,
across from the Parliament Buildings. 
I break up my time into 20 minute increments, and in between stretch and do a few pushups and squats. This feels sustainable. Break for lunch. Send a text. Otherwise, keep stewing on the chapter and its multiple moving parts, all working together now to form a very solid, well-organized draft. I am getting close to sending it off, and I'm starting to get excited about it. :)


Interesting quote from my brief literature scour again: this one from Bill Wilson, then Director of Industry, Trade, & Economic Research, at the Canadian Forestry Service, working at the Pacific Forestry Centre here in Victoria. From his concluding remarks in his 2002 article outlining the role of the federal government's Mountain Pine Beetle Initiative in responding to the mountain pine beetle's outbreak:

 "It has been a tough year for BC. Events bring to mind the riders of the apocalypse – pestilence, drought, fire, and floods."

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