Thesis = Nerve-Racking

We have today off from school due to parent-teacher conferences this week; I've committed this day to writing and working on my thesis. I've got a good chunk done--22 pages to be exact--and my goal is 45 (including an appendices). I'd like to have a draft completed with citations, formatting, etc. sent to my committee by May 15th in order to have time to complete my revisions before co-facilitating a class at UNL this June.

Today I finally had time to send a paranoid email to my committee with a list of questions that have been brewing for the past few weeks, and because my thesis chair is awesome, he emailed me back with answers to my questions within an hour. He's asked that I share my draft with him now so that he can get me a response by early March...this is what I originally wanted: someone from my committee to read through my document to see if I'm on the right track early. I don't want to write 30+ pages and then be told that 25 pages suck in April leaving me only a month to fix it all. But reading my chair's request that I share my document with him makes me so nervous...I honestly feel as if I could puke right now because of nerves.

I have a lot of respect for my chair and the rest of my committee members. They're incredibly intelligent, talented, successful, and are the best instructors I've ever had. I fear they'll read it and find me incompetent as a writer. I fear they'll read it and tell me I'm taking the wrong direction, to start over. I fear they'll read it and doubt my potential as a future PhD student (should I want to pursue that route later on). This is the first major project I've ever worked on; I want so badly for this to be good...and I want to graduate in August with my husband. I know this is nothing compared to the dissertation my sister in-law just finished or that some of my colleagues are starting on, but I feel like it's the first step in that direction for me. And in some ways, it's a deciding factor on whether or not I'll even make it to that next step.

By nature I'm a pretty nervous person, but I've never been this nervous before. I know it's a selfish thing to be nervous, and it demonstrates a lack of faith...but I'm all for honesty--and honestly, I'm nervous! So today my goal is to work through some of these nerves, add a few more pages to my document, tighten a few paragraphs, add an author's note, send it to my chair...and then treat myself tonight with a run and some guitar time.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Although nerves are completely normal, you have nothing to worry about. You are a wonderful and talented writer.