…said every PhD student ever.
I’ve come a long way since I first blogged about my grad school angst last year. The Paper From Hell made it completely out the door and published, and I finally produced some results worth presenting on topics related to my thesis. Currently I have:
- One paper in polished draft form that is ready for more revisions after a second round of comments from my advisor.
- One paper at the “figures + title” stage, where the results are basically done and now it’s a matter of filling in the text.
- Data for two more papers midway through analysis. The first of these two is going to be relatively quick and easy to write up; the second will involve a lot of “huh, what does this mean?”
- More data that could be analyzed for another paper.
Which kind of sounds like a lot, now that I write it out, doesn’t it? I certainly hope my thesis committee thinks so, when they meet in a few weeks. It’s never that simple, though.
The almost-done paper is pretty cool, if I do say so myself, but the partway-done one is much more quotidian. So of course I have a bunch of emotions about that: Is the second paper good enough? Will people be disappointed in me after the first one? (Why do I care about that?!) Plus, I only have a year left. How am I going to finish all that in a year?!?!???
Oh, and only the very last bullet point, the one that’s farthest from being done, closely relates to what I said I was going to do for my dissertation. I think my advisor’s not super thrilled about that, but he’d rather I be publishing the other stuff than not publishing at all.
All I can do is keep putting in the effort, day after day, and try to stay focused. I’m trying really hard not to hit the freak-out point—that’s not good for my productivity!—and just take it one task at a time.