The Scamp Has Academic Writer’s Block

For three days not a word has been written for my dissertation. Not one. No chapter headings, no subheadings, no quotes from the abundance of research I have at my fingertips…nothing. I was supposed to spend the week working on my literature review. I’ve been working on it for a couple of weeks, and it is holding me back from the rest of my project. I have about three weeks before I need to have it done, and so far, the introduction is the only thing that is complete.

I’m not sure what it is about the literature review that has me stressing out, but I am stressing out big time. After staring at it for the last three days without really being able to see what I wrote, I decided to send it to my supervisor as is and let her rip it apart so I can put it back together. She helped me make my introduction better, so I am hoping that she can work her magic on the literature review.

The next part of the paper to be written is the methods section. Basically all I have to do is justify my project, outline the way I analyzed the two children’s stories, and justify why I chose Chato’s Kitchen and Skippyjon Jones. This should be an easy section to write. I know why I want to do this research, I know exactly how I am going to analyze the visual and written texts of the stories, and I even know why I wanted to look at these two particular books (Well, okay, one was one of my favorite books growing up, and the other one is about a spunky Siamese cat who thinks he is a chihuahua….who wouldn’t enjoy reading and analyzing that?). I’ve done my research on the design I am setting up, and should be able to knock out 3,000 words on this easy.

When I sit down at my computer though…nothing. Not one things. I keep getting distracted. I literally cannot figure out how to get the thoughts in my brain to words on the page. I have tried everything I can think of to fix this. The house is clean, my laundry is done, Kelly’s house is clean…even my car is clean. I’ve done hours of yoga, watched cat videos and even tried to write out my chapter longhand while sitting at the pool. Now, everything around me is clean and I have a good tan, but I still have a blank page.

I guess I have to go back to the research and read how other people wrote about their research designs. Maybe something will jog the academic writing part of my brain and get me back on track. I’m going to start with the article I read by Misty Sailor.

Yep. That’s her name. When I start my stripper career, I am going to borrow that name. What a perfect stripper name. Poor woman is never going to be taken seriously in the field of education. Not as long as people like me are part of the field and see her name and think of this song:


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