This is an accountability post! I will update it until I have submitted my draft!
MY MISSION: produce a 9,000 word "competent draft" of a dissertation chapter by "March 1" (which I interpret to be, 'before noon on March 1').
10pm Feb 27: 5,069 words written; 93 todos remaining
I have, as of this moment, 5,069 words and a to-do list that is 93 items long. I have thirty-six hours with nothing else on my calendar. I can do this!!!
11:30pm Feb 27: 5,230 words written; 88 todos remaining
I'm already kinda fidgety and bored and Don't Wanna! Which is probably a symptom of the fact that, at this pace, I maybe Can't... I'm gonna worry less about the structure I originally thought this chapter was going to have, and focus on just generating words from the ideas I have lying around close to hand. Those are probably things that belong in the introduction anyway.
3am Feb 28: 5,626 words written; 81 todos remaining
Where has the time gone???
3:30am Feb 28: 5,711 words written; 77 todos remaining.
If I maintain this pace, I have 20 hours of work remaining -- impressively, both the words/hr and the todos/hr work out to a total of 20 to go! With 30 hours left on the clock, that is....... theoretically possible, but still very alarming.
3:45pm Feb 28: 7,303 words written; 77 todos remaining
I got a full night's sleep and took a slow morning, and then in the last hour I powered through nearly 1,600 words!!!! YES!!!!! This was mostly me remembering that I could just use my thesis proposal for the entire "describe what each chapter will do" part, but that TOTALLY COUNTS (and I had to edit the proposal so it sounded less proposal-y). I can probably eliminate some of those todos without actually doing them just because I don't need the words any more...!
9pm Feb 28: 7,564 words written; 75 todos remaining
It's going in fits and starts... mostly I'm discovering that I really like my research, so much so that I'd like to do it more slowly and thoroughly.
11pm Feb 28: 8,482 words written; 47 todos remaining
The word count is nearly within my grasp!! Basically all of my new words are in sections that I had not actually put into the to-do list (I am detecting some limitations in this highly-experimental to-do list methodology...) but I still have hopes and dreams that I can just........ cut a bunch of that stuff completely, if the new stuff can substitute for it.
It does seem like completion in the next 12 hours is very possible, but I am also very tired.
11:30am March 1: 8,482 words written; 47 todos remaining
I got a full night's sleep again, so it looks like I will be stretching the definition of "March 1" a little further than I'd originally intended... but all I have to do now is smooth out all the seams between the stuff I already have (a process which will surely bring me another 600 words naturally). Away I go!!
1:30pm March 1: 8,930 words written; 33 todos remaining
My new target is to submit by 4pm today; ideally, this means I will begin the formatting/post-processing of this draft by 2:30pm. This..... MAY be possible?? I've plowed through an impressive amount of polishing in the last two hours!
3:45pm March 1: 8,305 words written; 23 todos remaining
As this draft gets more and more competent, it also gets shorter and shorter and shorter....!!!! If I weren't hemorrhaging words in the polishing process I think I could put something together that was, overall, competent. But as things stand, I am, alas, forced to admit that it is not possible for me to meet this deadline.
I've contacted the relevant people in the dept to ask if they'd prefer to receive a draft that is on time but much too short, or something that is the correct length but a few days late. My advisor is pushing for the 'more time' option. We'll see!
4:30pm March 1: 8,305 words written; 23 todos remaining
Verdict from the department: "Word count is not of the essence. Wrap up with what you have and send it along." So I'm just gonna... flag the fragments as fragments, format all my headings and footnotes and citations, and call it a day. This is less useful dissertation-wise than extending the deadline would have been, but on the plus side I can play video games with my little brother tonight. Off I go!
5:45pm March 1: 8,713 words written; 22 todos left undone
IT IS FINISHED. I have sent it off to the department!! Right now I am more keenly aware of all the things that are not done, but it is, overall, "competent", and I honestly think I've done a lot of work on a very cool project!
I am also really looking forward to enjoying my weekend now, totally free of this task! Thanks for cheering me on during the last.... three straight days of flat-out writing, friends!