June turns into July, and—as hesitant as I am to say this—I am making progress. A little. With extra tea.*
I submitted a paper a few weeks ago, and it came back rather rapidly with comments from the reviewer. I have mixed feelings about this review: it’s not nearly as foolish as the referee report on my first paper,** but this referee clearly has An Idea that he*** wants us to explore, and the quantity of work required will be non-trivial.
A second paper exists in complete draft form and has been through an iteration of feedback with my advisor. It’s back with him for more, and then we’ll send it out to co-authors for comments. Still plenty of work left, but I’ve at least produced something concrete.
I’m currently working on the data visualization for a third paper, which is the first step in my writing-up process. Once all the figures are made, I’ll write text describing what each one shows, and then write about what we did to get those data, and there’s half the first draft done. This paper was originally going to be two papers, but they’ve merged into one large-ish paper as the results have come together.
And then there’s a final paper that’s kind of a stretch goal, and that one has had some data analysis issues and is otherwise just kind of waiting while I work on the rest.
I can see the end. I don’t necessarily feel that I can make it to that end, and I feel stupid a lot, and anxious and generally incompetent, but the fact that I can actually believe there is an end is huge, and I will take what I can get.
*Three cups a day. In the past I have found that this much tea eventually upsets my stomach, so I will have to cut back at some point. In the meantime, I am enjoying the rare experience of feeling awake and semi-human during daylight hours.
**Fun fact: that post attracts spam comments more than any other. I have no idea why.
***For subfield-specific reasons, the reviewer is almost certainly a he.