My Self-Inflicted Day Off
My dissertation has been playing on my mind a lot lately. Not surprising as I now have about 6 weeks to get it done. I’m not far off the word count now, but I know I have to cut about 2k from it.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been shutting myself in my room and watching Netflix or talking to folks on Twitter, until I can summon the energy to write my daily word chunk. A word chunk, which I am only supposed to write on weekdays, but inevitably seem to end up doing on Saturday and Sunday as well, because I can’t seem to stop myself.
So, today – with a great deal of effort – I took a day off. And not just a day sat in front of the TV, but one which involved going outside and not working on my dissertation in any way, shape or form. I thought, instead of Dissertation Drama, you might like to join me on My Self-Inflicted Day Off.
Step 1: Talk to Friend Over Breakfast
This was kind of a happy accident. I had a phone call from a friend, just as I sat down to eat a bowl of cereal. Today she’s moving into her first house, so we talked battle plans while I munched on my Weetabix.
Step 2: Drop Off Books
My next task was to get rid of a few books from my tower of dissertation resources that I just wasn’t using. I know what you’re thinking, but it really wasn’t work. I was in it for the sunny walk across campus, and the quiet cool of UoB’s new library. I did, however, stop to help out a budding international student and what I assume was his mum. I knew the lost look on their faces as they stared at the campus map, so I pointed out his course hub and the registry office. Then I plodded on, returned my books and picked one up on intertextuality. I only read enough to know it was going to be useful. I promise!
Step 3: Retail Therapy
I then drove out to Longbridge, to the little high street they have there. I dropped into Boots (a drugstore chain here in the UK) and picked up some make-up remover, some shiny, shiny hairgrips and a really cheap charcoal mask, which I am super excited to try out.
Step 4: Sit in Coffee Shop and Write
It’s been weeks since I’ve sat and written, so I decided to build this into my day. I went to a Costa, grabbed a cooler and a slice of tiffin, and did some work on…what I’m currently calling Moon-Sitting. It’s a story I’ve been playing with alongside The End of Atlas. I thought it was going to be a short story, but it’s heading for a novella. I’m thinking about maybe self-publishing it on Amazon later this year, when I’m unemployed and have all the time in the world to work on my writing 😉 Anyway, I wrote a chunk of Lucky’s childhood and then dashed off to Sainsbury’s to grab some cereal.
Step 5: Do the Evening Thing
This evening, I plan on cooking myself a clean fry up (all the protein, less of the fat), eating ice cream, having fun with my new facemask, and playing video games until my heart’s content. The aim is to occupy myself enough that I don’t reach for my laptop for the rest of the evening, hence I’m writing this now to avoid stumbling onto my dissertation and 8 o’clock this evening.
Hopefully, I’ll be relaxed enough by the end of today that I’ll also make it through tomorrow without working. Then I can unleash myself on Monday, and murder a couple of tables and the rest of my Watson in fanfiction comparison in one go.
I hope you guys enjoyed this, or at least weren’t entirely bored by what is essentially a diary entry. What do you do to try and occupy yourself when you’re stressed out? Always open to suggestions 😉
P.S. Here’s a really pretty bonus pic of the library blending into the sky. It’s still a weird building, but it’s grown on me.