How to write a dissertation without losing the will to live

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Writing this dissertation this year has made me fully cackle at myself.

I wrote this whole blog post in the summer about how I had my concept already after talking to my friend about it on a bench in Poland (wow cultured) (also you can read it here if you want to laugh at me). I sent an email to my lecturers and I was so EXCITED. Bronwyn the Perfectionist was once again ahead of the game.

Oh boy, did past Bron have a storm coming.

I remember my first dissertation seminar and my lecturer saying that most people don’t start writing until well after Christmas, and I was internally scoffing thinking that I would definitely be well underway before December.

O H  B O Y.

Little did I know I would spend the first five months of my final year going round and round in circles. No idea was substantial enough. It was so frustrating going from being ahead of the game to what I saw as falling behind. It was so easy to compare myself to my friends and my course-mates, and with the dissertation being a BIG DEAL, updating people on your lack of progress was unavoidable, and also embarrassing.

However, like everything involving even an ounce of creativity, you can’t force it, but as a result of this I had left myself with less time to actually write the thing. Saying that, everyone underestimates the amount of words they can write in a day, especially when driven by fear. Fun locations where I wrote significant chunks of my work were A&E in the Countess of Chester Hospital, the cafe in Tesco at the other end of town, and of course, the kitchen at work (unless I could steal the office chair).

The point I’m trying to make is that it’s probably not going to turn out the way you envisioned it at the start of the year. You’re not going to have a question straight away. Other assignments and commitments are going to get in the way. It is literally going to take over every waking moment for a solid few months. You may even have breakdowns over something as little as a typo. It is what it is.

But hey, I made it. Let’s just hope I didn’t fail, eh?

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