Questions that need answering

So, I thought I had my research question last night. I then looked at it again today and it seemed far too vague. And then I came up with a new, somewhat less vague one, felt very excited, and then discovered that there was an existing article that covered basically the exact same topic.

Granted, it had a different line of inquiry to what I want to look at, but all the same, it was frustrating. Plus sitting at university for even 2 hours consecutively without taking a break … well, it was hard to maintain focus, shall we say. I’m going to try and stay there until the library closes tomorrow, even if I end up not  doing much work, just because, well, I am more likely to do work if I’m there.

Other writing has, of course, gone out the window, because I feel horribly guilty about not doing this writing. Which, in the end, is silly, because if I wasn’t going to get any study done today, I may as well have drafted or revised or something. Remember not to beat myself up about things is hard; once I get it I end up getting a lot more stuff done, funnily enough – this way I’m just guilt-procrastinating and playing browser games. For hours. Like 3 hours. It’s ridiculous.

I need this question clarified. I need to know what I’m looking for so that I have a line of research to conduct so that I can have something to write my damn essay on. I do know what I want to look at, I just don’t know the best way to turn it into a research question, and it’s driving me partially up the wall, and if it goes on must longer I will require a warning label reading ‘may contain traces of nuts’.

Why. Why did I think going back to study would solve anything?

I mean that’s a ridiculous question; it has solved a whole host of things – where I’m getting money from, what I’m doing for the next year-ish, expanding my horizons both personally and career-wise, and giving me an excuse to hang around in the one place where I actually do get work done, not to mention forcing me to occasionally leave the house. I need to settle on a line of inquiry, turn that into a question and then hope the rest just falls into place. Pick something and run with it. Otherwise I’ll never be done and it’ll be a last-minute rush again, which I really don’t want, and I know I can avoid.

And I need to keep writing other stuff while I’m at it. This whole day could have been a lot more productive if I’d just called it a no-go on the study after the first two excruciating hours and then let myself write something I actually enjoyed. But I did at least get a 40-minute walk in today, so that is a decent silver lining.

Maybe I’ll do a little bit of revision now just to wind things down – the next chapter up for revision shouldn’t take too much work, and it would be nice to accomplish something as well as keeping up momentum on Tallulah. I really need some new music, though. You can only listen to the same 50-ish songs so many times before you almost wish you’d never heard them before.

Basically I was disappointed with today’s progress, and more than that, I’m disappointed that I couldn’t just call it for what it was – a miss – and have some fun at least. I would have called that a fair trade if I’d been in a more forgiving state of mind. I think tomorrow, while I need to focus on this assignment, I also need to work in some breaks and do some other things, rather than just trying to force myself to do one thing for 6 hours and just will it to work. Maybe one day I’ll get to that point, but it is not this day, nor tomorrow, I would assume. And time spent is not equal to work produced, as I learnt, much to my humility, with the first draft of Tallulah.

So I guess I’ve got my answer. Take a chill pill and just do … something. Just pick a thing, no matter how much better it maybe could be if only X thing I don’t really clearly understand, and get it done.

And move on.

Not a bad lesson to take away.



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