I have managed to get to the end of the weekend without achieving very much other than honing my procrastination skills! (and having a couple of naps). I am going to do some ironing in a minute, I know it’s still procrastinating but at least there will be something to show for it at the end!
I finally managed to send off the evil chapter to my supervisors. It is loads better than the previous attempts, but I’m still not really very happy with it. It occurred to me that I could usefully chop out the good bits and put them in other chapters, and have suggested this to my supervisors. They are very good at considering my brainwaves and then coming up with really obvious reasons why they’re bad ideas, but I’m really hoping that they agree with me on this. This is meant to be my final chapter before the conclusion, and I just think it’s a really weak way of ending the thesis. The chapter before this one is much much better, and I would feel much better arriving at my conclusion from that one! At the moment I just don’t feel at all confident about submitting a thesis with this particular chapter in it – I think I would be laying myself open to major corrections. There is good stuff there, but I just can’t get it to work in a format with which I’m satisfied or confident.
I’m taking a wee break from the chapter to try to write my talk for the conference which is coming up in a few weeks in Sweden. I had originally banked on pretty much writing it on the plane, but we have a discussant who needs to see the papers in advance, so that’s the current job. It’s a pain that conference papers always take longer than I think they will (so it’s probably just as well I’m not writing it on the plane!), but I think taking this time out to write something else might be a good thing in the end – if I am able to chop up and redistribute the Chapter of Doom then it will make some chapters quite a bit longer than others, but if this talk is any good then I can include some of the material in the good chapter which will even up the chapters and also means that I can incorporate more of my data in the thesis. One of the really frustrating things I’ve found about writing a thesis is that there just isn’t the space to include large parts of the collected data, and whilst plenty of things can wait till afterwards and I can try to write some shorter pieces based on the bits that didn’t make the thesis, still it will be gratifying to get more material into the thesis. That would also make me feel much more confident come the viva.
Mind you, actually getting off my fat backside and doing some more writing would also make me feel much more confident come the viva. And with that, time to do the ironing …..