Over this past summer, just after my last post, I started my doctoral program's comprehensive exam process. This consisted of six weeks of writing in response to two questions followed by an oral defense. Through this experience, I have found myself frozen at the keyboard. Even once my comps were finished and I had defended, I still sat, frozen in a staring contest with the blank page. However, I am now engaging in a sprint with my dissertation proposal. As such, I have to get over the hang-ups I seemed to have developed in the past four months.
After taking a month too long to draft the first chapter of my proposal, I handed my advisor a rough draft. After reading it over, she commented, "It was really just you talking for the first few pages..." I explained that every time I started to write I got bogged down. I couldn't get myself past the citations that I know I need but don't have at hand. So I said screw it. I sat back and just wrote without thinking or worrying about the citations; I can fill that crap in later. She laughed and told me that is exactly what she would have told me to do and that I had the hard part done; I started.