I took an entire semester off from this blog. During that time I began a meditation blog, administered a blog for the ENG105 faculty at CSR, and of course maintained my course blogs.
Currently there has been an interesting (and motivating) discussion taking place in the WPA listserv regarding "time toward PhD completion." Within that discussion has come the reminder that habit in writing is super important and that daily writing is crucial. As a writing teacher this is obvious to me, yet as with doctors who tell us to eat right and exercise and then are themselves complete couch potatoes, I have been one of those dissertation writers who has not been taking my own writing advice to heart. I feel the pressure when I make time to write that it has be a large amount of time and that it has to produce something momentous (or close to it). But, that isn't always going to happen, and it is better to write a bit each day than to have a few sporadic pressure-filled marathon writing sessions. Daily writing is actually where blogging was supposed to come in -- public accountability always helps too.
A few folk on the listserv have suggested this site -- PhinisheD -- so I plan to spend some time checking that out and commiserating with other ABDs.
So I guess this has kind of turned into a new year's resolution post: to return -- more diligently -- to writing and completing my dissertation and to return to this blog (or this blog at a new location) as part of that more diligent dissertation writing process/habit.
Finally, I have also given some thought to what I want this blog to be. It started out a little over three years ago (!!!) as my attempt to move my work and my voice outside the "ivory tower" and reach a larger audience than my dissertation committee. The blog was to be an account of the research and teaching and teaching as research that my experience as a PhD student was/is comprised of. For the most part I believe that is what this blog has been -- along with the occasional (or more than that?) asides. I realize that some readers prefer to read academic blogs that are strictly that, and I have considered making my own blogging fit more into that strictly academic "genre." However, I've come to the realization that that blogs I most enjoy reading are "mixed bag" blogs -- the ones that move between pedagogical practice, writing theory, most recent movie viewing, and dinner menus. I'm sure it is the voyeur in me, as I believe it is for many of us working, writing, living, interacting in these online spaces who are also reality TV junkies and fans of memoir and the personal essay, etc. Anyhow, I'm feeling fairly certain that this blog will remain a blend of the personal and the academic. A post I read today is of this opinion:
The mix of professionalism, critique, personal obsession. This is the juxtaposition that drives the best kinds of writing.