Friday, May 31, 2013

An open letter to chapter four of my thesis

Dear Chapter Four,

I'm a little daunted by you (we both know this is an understatement, but you'll allow me my pride in front of my reading public.) You have been stretching through my thoughts over the past three and a half years- heck, part of you was the kernel of what I started with in my proposal as a bright-eyed wannabe PhDer way back when. And here we are, mere months from deadline and many, many books later. 

You are a bristling, muscular, complicated heavyweight, and I am intimidated by the prospect of writing you into being because I don't quite know how you will take shape. You have the potential to surprise me as your ideas unfurl their legs and wind their arms around each other as I write you; or you could prove to be the monster I fear, a hulking convoluted tangle of ideas all brawling with each other and sprawling bloody-nosed and confused over too many pages.

How can I do justice to all of you? How can you ever be good enough to warrant all this time of pondering, pruning and lovingly shaping you in my mind?

I find myself hunting for ways to stall the moment of pouring you out onto the page. I make new playlists to "write to", read style blogs for "more research", write blogposts (O HAI) and then take a coffee break because I'm so exhausted from avoiding your expectant gaze.

I think we both know that I have to tackle you head on today. We also both know that I don't know how to do it while being certain that I must rise to the challenge of you. In fact, I suspect that writing you will prove, in retrospect, to be one of those moments that  pushed my skills beyond any limit they'd been pushed before by the sheer effort of weaving together all of the ideas I feel instinctively must be present to make you what you must be. That is reason enough to give you a go, let alone the fact that, you know, last day of May today.

So here we are. Ready or not... let's do this.


  1. A good diversion specially when all those good thesis ideas seems to hide from nowhere. Hope that your chapter four and your thesis as a whole is in good shape right now. I'm sure you were able to pull through.

  2. Hey, thanks Nora! I ended up shifting chapter four into chapter five and am pleased to tell you that it's all coming along well. Feel am on the home stretch now which is exciting- I can't wait to see it all hang together as a full thesis...