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I Can Dissertate

I Can Dissertate

Written by Sheila Cooperman
January 26, 2014

I am not, by nature, a true procrastinator. When I need to do something, it gets done. Always, but that does not mean that I do not stress about it on the way to getting it done. I do. I worry about the how it will get done, the when it will get done, the quality of getting it done. I worry about whether or not when I start the task whether or not my conviction that I will get it done will last.

     I experience high levels of dissonance when something that needs to get done doesn’t. It makes me uncomfortable and then I begin to worry not only about getting it done, but why I was waiting and procrastinating. And if that happens, then I have just doubled my dissonance, so in the end it does not pay to procrastinate. Now, I must add a caveat. I usually proclaim out loud, even if no one is present to hear, what I have to do. The verbal commitment seems to make it more real in some way and it makes me feel more accountable. Either there is  true human to listen or my collection of ventriloquist dummies will listen. Saying it out loud makes it real. Once that verbal commitment is made, one might wonder then why I might be found cleaning out the junk drawer, organizing the silverware, sharpening my collection of pencils–Procrastination–one might say, but in reality it is not.  It is thinking time. I multi-task. My brain moving in waves in another locale, while my fingers and conscious brain are mixing cookie batter, or cooking homemade tapas. And at some moment, the two will merge and I will get cracking.

     In a previous post, I discussed the special feelings that are affecting me as I begin this dissertation journey. I will not write a redundant post, but summarize by saying that the feeling has been divided between I can do this and I can never do this. So I have been cautiously starting the first chapter, slowly and oh so cautiously-like inching your toes into icy cold water. Each word agonized over. Each idea that was committed to the page run through the wringer as though there were an invisible army of goons and goblins waiting to strike me with the idiocy of my words or ideas. But no such thing happened. And then I read a series of dissertations by unknown writers who were ‘dissertating’ on similar topics. And I understood all that was being said. And I realized, I have the knowledge-base I need. And I read the structure and marveled at the fluencies, but realized these were done, format-reviewed, and published. I am still in draft form. I looked at the writing and realized I can ‘dissertate’ the same way they can. And then it hit me. I can do this. I am perfectly capable of doing this and I will do it. I am going to ‘dissertate.’