I have decided to refer to my dissertation as my third child and treat it as such for the time being. (I am open to suggestions for a name – please comment with some ideas.) I’ve heard many writers liken the writing process to birth, so I think this is an apt metaphor. I have to send it to the doctor’s frequently, attend conferences to discuss how well it is doing, and, I imagine, when it’s all grown up, I will be proud of how it’s turned out.
For me, treating the dissertation like progeny might be the only way I get this done. I plan to:
- spend time with it every day;
- remember to tell it, “I love you;”
- feed it with good, healthy words; and
- vow to still love it even when I don’t like it.
And at the moment, I don’t like it. It is a colicky pain in the ass.
And this is the only big difference between my dissertation and my children: right now, I really wish I wasn’t its mother; in fact, if I could send it away to boarding school and have someone else raise it (and then take all the credit), I would seriously consider it. I have never felt this way about my children.