A topic at last! Or in other words, a lifeboat in the ocean of uncertainity

The whole month of September I was lost. I was lost in the sea of literature. I feel unmotivated and lazy. I felt that no matter what I read, it wasn’t enough. This, coupled with the uncertainty of not knowing what to write about, paralysed me.

Before September, I had already written  3000 words of a draft for one of my chapters. How many did I write in September?  0.

I did write some words in September as I have an annotated bibliography and rough drafts in Scrivener. But I did not write any real words that will eventually contribute to my thesis. This is because I was stuck in an ocean of possibility. I had dug deeper into my literature view and felt I was going around in circles. Every topic I read was uninteresting or had already a small amount of research. I didn’t know where I would fit.

Now, I have absolutely no advice on how to remove yourself from this paralysing position. For me, it happened randomly, on a Tuesday two weeks ago whilst trying to organise my thoughts in a mindmap. I suddenly looked up and I knew! The happiness that flooded through me was intense. I just wanted to share this, so anybody else doing a frantic google on ‘how to choose a PhD topic’ doesn’t feel as alone.

This uncertainty will pass. You WILL find a topic. You were allowed entry to the program because YOU are worthy.


The beginning

Tomorrow I begin my candidacy and I am, understandably, nervous.  I have decided to blog as I would like a record of my thoughts and my journey through the PhD. This seems to be an efficient way to practice writing and to cure writer’s block.

So where to begin? After extensive googling, I have some initial thoughts, all of which seem to follow the same pattern:

  1. I have no idea what I am doing
  2. Okay, I’ll make a plan so that I feel more organised
  3. Google is no help, I have no idea what I am doing

As you can see, I currently am feeling a bit lost. My initial research proposal was written 11 months ago. Not only do I feel disconnected from my own project, but I feel disconnected and unsure of the whole process. I know that this feeling is only temporary, and soon I will be deeply immersed in the research and my topic.