In December 2014, I had my upgrade presentation, chapter submission and interview. Things went well and it was a very intense and interesting experience. Up until I started presenting I was quite sure that my presentation was awful and that my world would come to an end right afterwords. No such thing happened. On the contrary, I received some stimulating questions and a lot if interest from colleagues that made me proud but also optimistic about my research. After that, I had a long deserved break, enjoying chrismas holidays and having fun.
January set the limit of going back to research. That is when all went wrong. More than 3 months now, all of my reading, studying, writing takes me nowhere in terms of academic writing or argumentation as if there is nothing to say. Every day, I wake up telling myself that today is the day I will break through this situation, but actually it’s more like the Groundhog Day, only I am not Biil Murray and I dont tell the weather (not yet at least). In this desperate condition, I decided and sent my wanna-be-chapter draft to my supervisors feeling loads of shame for that piece of naive writing that stands miles apart from an academic text. And the thing is that I still dont know how they can actually help me, since I have not yet decided what it is I am arguing about.So, here I am in my third year, where supposingly I should be doing loads of writing, looking at my screen and notes, wandering what it is I am doing. In my first year of research, I was much more driven, decisive and was writing much more than now. Less knowledge it seems, but much more effective.
Why though sharing this experience with you? Because I think that we -as in early researchers- tend to disclose only the results of our research but hardly discuss the process with other people who are more experienced and might be of help. We exchange views on such topics only in informal gatherings and private discussions between us, as if reavealing in public that at some points you get stuck will mean the end of our acedemic careers. Moreover, I am at the moment far away from my academic environment which means noone to talk it through. So, here I am, saying out loud that I am not going anywhere with my research, hoping that it might motivate me to start over again and take a better shot at it from today, or maybe receive some response from other people being in the same heartbreaking condition.
Until then, enjoy the spring with its sunny weather and blossoming flowers, cause summer is coming up soon.