Friday, September 30, 2011

Mission Statement...

I've been a bit hit and miss on the blog in the last couple of weeks. There is a shift in the air. I'm restless. This is par for the course when you have ADHD, but there is more to it than that I think.

Dave is about to start a new job - just as soon as we get a call back from his future employer, that is, but we have been assured it is coming. That is going to mean more financial security for us. Probably not a huge change in financial security, but then again, we don't need a huge change - we've never needed much, just not to have to ask his mother for money every month...

It's been almost a year since I finished my Masters degree. I haven't done anything more with the manuscript that degree yielded. I still want to get it professionally read before submitting it anywhere else. It's not that I've lost interest in that manuscript, it's more that the struggles over the past few years have clogged up my brain spaced and made it harder than usual for me to focus on anything. As time has passed I've searched for solutions to our problems with a much more frenetic, disorganised energy. Really just clutching at straws. It's caused so much confusion and anxiety in recent weeks - did we make the right choices, where do we go from here if we didn't, and so on.

Related to this has been my plan to apply to do a PhD at a local university. I've felt very blocked when it came to this particular goal. The proposal itself is only 750 words, but it asks the questions, 'How is your topic unique?' and 'What does your topic add to the field of research?' Big questions for a such a small proposal. It feels like I have to done all my research before even starting my research degree!

I have done some very preliminary research to answer these questions but haven't learned much. I said to mum today, 'Either no one has ever researched this topic or I'm not looking in the right places.' She suggested it is most likely the latter (and considering much of her own research is in a related field, I'm taking that to mean she's probably come across research in the general area I'm considering).

The truth is, I'm all at sea. My lack of confidence stems from knowing, deep down, that I haven't done enough research and that one or two queries from potential supervisors would quickly reveal my fraud. I need to build other people's faith in my ability to research and to build authority on my topic of choice. I can't afford to reveal myself as clueless even before I get started. There's plenty of time for that later...

So, that brings me to another truth. I need to actually do some real work now. At this stage in the process, I'm about a year away from being really ready to submit a proposal. I'm kicking myself for wasting so much time this year, but I wasn't in the right frame of mind. As Maslow's hierarchy dictates, I needed to feel safe; I needed to know I had food and shelter, and that my children had food and shelter, and that's really only becoming a firm certainty in light of Dave new job (once we get that phone call, of course).

 Close friends will get a laugh from reading between
these lines and realising why I'm suddenly all about

Only then can I put energy into more cerebral pursuits - self betterment...

So, now I find myself reconsidering my current priorities. I've been getting into the blogosphere quite strongly in the past couple of months, and have met some really lovely people, and discovered some very strong hearts and minds out there. It's been amazing! It has also been very time consuming and sadly if I'm going to give this PhD project the energy it needs, I'm going to have cut back on participating in link-ups, in particular.

There is one link up I feel I need to keep up with - because it is very closely related to my work and it has really help me reconnect with my first love; writing - that is the Write on Wednesdays link-up. I didn't participate this week because my head is very foggy right now, but I've been thinking about it all week, nevertheless!

Other link-ups I'm going to have to participate in as time allows.

I know in blogging circles it's very much a case a of 'out of sight, out of mind', and that is completely understandable because there are just so many amazing blogs out there. Only very few, extremely talented bloggers would be widely missed if they stopped blogging several times a week.

I won't stop blogging, but I guess what I blog about might change a fair bit because I'm about to submerge myself in a world of fiction and research and - oh, that terrible, terrible genre - fantasy (I really must look up the meaning of 'slipstream' it might give me some more credibility)...

My apologies in advance if I start to bore you guys.

As always, I love, love, love interacting with my readers; these past couple of months of comments have been just awesome - I'm more addicted than ever to talking to the people who stop by and read this blog. You guys inspire me no end!

I'm going to try and commit three solid days a week to reading a research and two to writing. My mission is to become the researcher and writer I need to be to gain entrance into a PhD degree and to get my novel published. Blogging will happen in and around these goals.


Actually Amy said...

Good luck with it Sif xx

Tabs said...

Great goals Sif. By the way, I'd still love to read your manuscript.

Anonymous said...

I think one point you missed out in your mission statement was to "build YOUR OWN faith in your ability". Blogging can be very distracting & definitely time consuming but it's also very good at helping progress through those yellow & green tiers in that pyramid. All the best xx

Sif Dal said...

Amy, thanks!

Tabitha, yep, sure you can absolutely read it - I can email it to you if you like :).

Neesay, of course, you're absolutely right! (and this is why I love feedback from my readers) I started blogging to get the inside of my head out where I could read it and reflect on it better. I have really been surprised at how well my writing is received AND how surprised I am at it being well received. I always said I can write, but it seems I didn't really believe that myself... Hopefully people will stick around for my fiction writing, too.

Mum said...

I like! :) You are on the right track. The 'slight' delay (in the greater sceme of things), while you get your head around the academic discussions concerning your topic and the main players, will pay dividence later.

Please, make the program sustainable - not too stringent - take time to 'Smell the Roses' along the way - come visit your old mother, etc... :)

The Vine Inn and Maggie Beer beckon...great to sit by the turtle pond and write... :)

Sif Dal said...

As soon as our calendars sync and I know what the Grumpy Old Man is doing work-wise (still waiting!) and funds allow, we'll go work by the lake!

Janelle said...

Best of luck with your mission Sif! Perhaps you'll find that after beginning a new project in your life, your blog might become something different to you, or open you up to a different audience.

I have been keeping up with your posts over the last couple of months, although I haven't really been commenting, sorry. I've been finding it hard to get laptop time at home, so I've been using Google Reader on my phone, which is harder to use for commenting. But I've really been enjoying reading what you've got to say and finding out more about you, and yes you definitely should keep up with WoW!

Veronica @ Mixed Gems said...

Good luck, Sif. Hopefully, as you take the time out to do what is of highest priority, everything will serendipitously fall into place for you.

Good Job!