I'm linking this post up with 'I'm grateful for...' at Maxabella Loves.
Since the end of last year, when I finally finished my Master's Thesis, I've been thinking about and planning for applying to do a PhD in Creative Writing.
The Master's thesis consisted of a 40 000 word creative piece - in my case a Youth Adult novel - and a 10 000 word exegesis (which is something like an essay about the whys and hows of writing the novel including a review of similar pieces of work currently on the market). The PhD I'd like to do at Deakin University is a bit like the Master's degree, except the creative piece will be about 80 000 words (another YA novel) and the exegesis will be about 20 000 words. So, double the word length for everything.
You'd think, having done a research Masters before, and gaining a Distinction at the end of it, I'd feel fairly confident applying to do the next step, the PhD.
Nothing could be further from the truth! I have no idea what I'm doing, really. I know what I want to research - the progression of folkloric literacy in Icelandic immigrants to Australia - but I am lost about where to start researching this. I'm not even sure I have the resources right now (while I'm not connected to a university and have no memberships to journal databases and so on) to speak authoritatively on the gap my research would be bridging. Thank goodness I know exactly what I want to write for the creative piece, at least that is something!
So, this week I'm grateful for...
- Knowing what I want to write for my major creative piece.
- My mum, who has already started her PhD and can help me distill my thoughts and prepare my proposal. Having some sort of mentor in the application process is something I think all PhD candidates would benefit from. If you can find someone who has done it before you, then that will relieve a lot of stress. If that person did their PhD at the university you're apply to, BONUS! If they researched somewhere within your field that is also a bonus (mum is at a different university to where I want to apply but is researching in a related field, which is great for me because she gets what it is I want to achieve!).
- My friend Jayne, who is studying at the university I am applying to and is willing to be my security blanket at the Open Day tomorrow! (she may be getting sick of being referred to as my security blanket, I really should think of another term - any suggestions?)
- My husband - the ever constant Grumpy Old Man who has put up with my almost-constant anxiety since he first encouraged me through the process of applying to do a Post Graduate Diploma in Education way back in 1997. He is the one who picks up the slack when I'm up until 5am writing. He cheers me on when I'm at a low ebb. He celebrates with me when I reach a minor or major goal. He's even dragged himself out in driving rain with pneumonia to physically hand in one of my assignments when I'd been up for two days straight finishing it and no energy left to travel across town to hand it in myself!
What are you grateful for?