One Quote Review: Destination Dissertation by Sonja K. Foss and William Waters

I am reading these books about how best to approach doctoral research and I am finding them all to be both boring and likeable. Just like me!

In Destination Dissertation, the project is compared to a long exotic holiday that requires proper preparation, is sometimes trying and must be merely endured but is ultimately rewarding and enriching. I like how they quoted Scot McKnight. I did not like how they confidently break it all down into 29 steps that can be achieved in just twenty minutes a day with just a slim-fast shake and 10 push-ups, or some such goal-orientated bahooey!

In one of their closing sections, the authors suggest that you should spew out what you have to write in one, big, unformated gush of words. They even suggest turning off your monitor and just typing blind. That may be a bit extreme for me but it reminded me that there is no shame in producing dreadful first drafts of things, which is something I commonly do. It’s a nice analogy and I hope it helps you kill a bit of that perfectionist streak that might be holding you back:

Editing as you write is not unlike moving into a new house or apartment and trying to arrange the furniture by focusing on one or two pieces. It’s like moving a single table and a lamp here and there until you get it in just the right place. The problem is that you’ve ignored the couch and the chair and the coffee table that may need to go in the exact place you positioned the table and the lamp. The perfect place is no longer so perfect when the other pieces of furniture fill the room, and you probably won’t be able to keep the perfect placement of the table and lamp. Imagine instead placing all the furniture in a rough, workable arrangement and then making smaller and smaller adjustments until the room is perfect. When you work from that rough arrangement, all of your adjustments take into account the whole, and there aren’t any major surprises or changes along the way. Fast writing, then, gives you the arrangement of the whole room before you begin to make smaller adjustments.

Destination Dissertation, Sonja K. Foss and William Waters, p. 266.

Your Correspondent, He scientifically proved that oceans are God’s tears.