I keep forgetting to blog. My mom’s finally back, so I finally have time to get back to my project. To all the moms who are working all while attending school, raising children, and taking care of the household, I don’t know how you do it! And I just want to say you are the piece holding your family together, and I am sure your family is grateful for you. I sure am for my mother.
A short blog about progress: I worked on the dedication page, acknowledgments and edited the chapter we reviewed in class. There’s only one week left; let’s see how much I get done before next week. I’m hoping to write chapter 9. Then during the one month off, I will work on the closing chapter and my literature review.
Everyone around me is done with their thesis, and I can’t wait to be there. I can’t wait to feel that feeling of satisfaction. Or will I even feel satisfied?
For now, all I feel is sheer fear that I’ll never finish. I keep battling the need to be perfect for moving on. I have a hard time writing the next part or next chapter until the previous one feels perfectly complete.
I’m struggling with the last two chapters. I don’t know what I want to write or how I want to end this. I’ve been at this point for the previous two weeks. I almost thought about keeping just eight, but I know this project doesn’t feel complete. I need a closing chapter, something to tie things together.
I just want to complete all my writing by the due date. Let’s change the tone. I will complete all my writing by the due date. Wish me luck!
I’m stuck with chapters 9 & 10. I’m not sure how I want to end this; I know I want this memoir to be continued even after graduate school is over, but for the sake of this thesis, I have to figure out how I want to close it out.
Since I’m stuck, I started working on the introduction. List of things I want to complete in the remaining four weeks:
Finish memoir (Chapters 9 +10)
Include Content Page
Things I will do in the month before the summer writer’s retreat:
Complete Literature Review
Work on aesthetics (cover page, adding folktales, abstract, etc.)
Update on the thesis: I did not follow my schedule, sadly. I’m going to have to double up this week. With the numerous weddings in my family, my sister’s baby shower coming up, and my mother leaving for India this weekend, it was an eventful week.
I thought today I could wind down and spend a couple of hours writing, but I woke up with a cold that I am fighting.
I will present next week, which I am pretty scared about, but I can’t wait to get feedback since I still have plenty of time to take it into account.
Signing off, going to drink tea, and hope I’m better tomorrow.
I entirely forgot about blogging this week. I’ve had a busy week with my parents in the middle of a childish cold war! My dad refuses to talk to my mom or eat the food she cooks, so I’ve been filling in by making the only thing I know how to make, boxed kinds of pasta. I literally hate cooking! Also, him not talking to her means he calls me every hour for what he needs and errands. I might lose it if it doesn’t end soon.
Also, my cousin’s engagement was this weekend, two days of festivities and running around. Although it was fun, I’m exhausted. I’m writing this blog on my phone at her house, so I am sincerely sorry for the bad grammar! Not to mention I spent all of Friday after work at the hair salon. Why does coloring your hair take six hours?
I did have time this week to complete two short stories, edited, revised, and published. So now I have a total of seven, I think by the end of this, I will have a total of ten, or at least that’s what I’m thinking. I totally won’t have my literature review completed by my presentation as I had hoped, but I’m working on it alongside my memoir. I’m playing with the concepts of Transnational Indian Immigration, Folktales, and the Caste system.
I was feeling good, and then I went into panic mode. The story of my life…
Monday was just about getting through the day. I woke up numb – unfeeling and was fortunate to even make it through work and class. I ordered a large french fry and strawberry milkshake on the way home to celebrate. Getting anything done at this point was out of the question, so I got into bed and read a memoir I had wanted to read for a while. Reading is also a part of the journey, so I didn’t feel so guilty.
Tuesday and Wednesday, I took a break from my memoir and started toying around with my literature review, which I am happy to report I have at least started. Susan was kind enough to share hers with me, which put my mind at ease because I know I at least have the structure down. I started researching a lot about transnational Indian immigration, which is one topic I will be heavily exploring for the literature review.
Thursday, I’ll be honest I didn’t get much done. And today, Friday, I had a thought for my memoir and started writing a draft of which I wrote four pages. The hardest part about all of this is how I will tie all the stories together. Some fit in chronological order, and some are all over the place. I don’t think I can separate the stories as short stories, but I’m not at the point where I can tie it together like a novel. That’s what’s stressing me out the most right now.
This weekend, I will try and complete this story, edits and all. Also, keep researching; the goal is to have my literature review done before my presentation on April 15th. After that, all I want to focus on is my memoir until the writer’s retreat, where I will hopefully submit everything!
Susan, this is the second time I’m mentioning you in my blogs. I absolutely loved your memoir, which in turn, led me to revisit one of my short accounts because after reading yours, I felt mine was far too dull. So I sat down this beautiful Sunday and re-read your story multiple times, and each time I felt a closeness to all of your characters, I could envision each scene, and I could relate to it while laughing and crying. So that’s the new set standard for my memoir, the reader can’t envision the scenes and relate to my characters I don’t want it! Lol
Dr. Zamora, I thought about what you said about setting smaller goals, which has genuinely helped me. I have been content with the small amounts of progress I am making. I realized that I kept telling myself that I would work on my thesis but didn’t set goals and then, feeling battered down by the pressure of completing it, entirely overlooked it. The small goals technique has truthfully helped me. I’ve been working on it every evening, allowing myself to do whatever my brain can handle until I shut down for the night.
I think what’s discouraging me right now at this very moment is that every time I sit down to write, I get more ideas. So I’m like, ok, wait, I have to add this, and that or the memoir doesn’t make sense. I don’t think I’ll ever truly complete this story, especially not by the end of this thesis class. I have to accept that this will be an ongoing project. I just can’t figure out how much of it I will complete by the end of this or how much is appropriate, if that makes sense? I don’t even know if I’m getting what I’m really trying to say across here. I might just be rambling…
But like my title says, I’m feeling good because I finally feel like I’m making some decent progress. So my plan, for now, is to continue making progress on my thesis until March 15th. Then I will briefly pause for at least two to three weeks to work on my literature review before it is my turn to present on April 15th. Hopefully, by then, I have a big chunk of it or all of it done. And from May to the summer writer’s retreat, I want to continue working on my thesis and make enough progress to turn it in. So that is the plan for now; let’s hope everything goes as planned.
Here’s an actual tweet of me asking my parents and siblings of how to describe being tired without saying the character is tired:
The last time we met in class, Susan mentioned how she was hanging out with her sister, reminiscing on the past, which reminded her about a story she had forgotten, which helped her draft the next section of her thesis. After the twenty pages, I felt lost about where to take the story next. I had an outline, but I was having a hard time writing it. So today, I went and hung out with my brother, which is rare. As I was trying to share a story about my father, I was shocked to hear my brother’s version. How did we grow up with the same parents but view them so differently? I cherish my parents; they’re everything to me. But, my brother resents them, almost feels like he hates them.
This has always been our story. I always jokingly say we have different parents. He is the oldest, so maybe he got the young version of my parents when they didn’t quite know how to be Mom and Dad. But, on the other hand, perhaps I, the youngest, got the more skilled version of them. So his version didn’t help me with the story I am writing, but maybe his version is just as important as mine, and I should include it in my account. Which in turn makes things a little more complicated. Back to revising my outline, I’m not even sure how I’m going to do it, but I feel like it’s important to tell the whole truth, even the NOT SO PRETTY PARTS.
I wanted to draft and revise ten more pages during this break: two parts of my story—the part of my mother and father’s love story and the part of heartbreak. I did draft about four pages; by Monday, I hope to have all ten drafted and once again a revised outline once again. Then during the week, I will adjust my writing. That being said, I’ll end the blog right here and go on about my writing.
Last week I thought it would be impossible to complete my thesis. Last week on Monday after our thesis class, I was exhausted. Tuesday, I spend the day being tired from Monday. Wednesday, we had a long professional development day until 4 pm, followed by my mother dragging me lowes for a new fridge because our secondary fridge broke down that same week. Just my luck, right? Thursday, my supervisor was visiting, so I had an obvious anxiety attack which is stupid because she comes once every year, and I should be used to it. Friday, I was just glad it was all over and avoided all my responsibilities and took a mental health day, which really became a mental health weekend.
This week is much better. It’s now Wednesday, and I am happy to report my week has been way better. I was able to write the next part of my story with a whopping twenty pages now. Not that I am basing my success on how many pages I wrote, but it’s just a way to track progress. I have also revised all twenty pages and feel content with what I have, so I will finally be able to move on without feeling like I have to keep going back. I also outlined the next part of my memoir, so I’m just happy with the progress.
The plan for the next few days, I want to have the next part of my narrative drafted before Monday. So here is where I am stuck, not really stuck by why the literature review feels so intimidating. Maybe I am stuck with what categories and themes that are coming out of my writing. Dr. Zamora did suggest some, so I want to but really have to generate at least a list of works that fall under those categories for this week. I’m still going to play around with the categories to make sure I am able to generate a sufficient amount of sources for each.
I just wrote my blog earlier this week because I’m feeling hopeful, and the work I was able to produce is reassuring me that this is achievable, and I will, we all will all see the light at the end of the tunnel!