Still a grad student…

…not for long, hopefully.

As of December 1st I have six months to finish writing my dissertation. It really feels like a meaningful landmark, some sort of point of no return. I really want to embrace that feeling as motivational instead of freaking out about it. Now six months seems a lot of time from here, but I already know that as soon as the Winter term starts all my TAing, RAing, and managing responsibilities will take up a large amount of my time, so I’ve made the kind of panicky pre-new year’s resolution of writing everything (everything I can, that is) before the end of the year.

I made a plan, because that’s the kind of thing I know I’m good at, and because I really want to enjoy my writing time, have fun while doing it and record it in another format that’s not *just* the dissertation itself.

The Plan (or a personal dissertation writing manifesto):

Officially starting on December 1st, but might start before that with a little bit of luck, I will:

1. Finally split that monster 80+ page chapter I wrote in the Spring into two different chapters. One will be devoted to the cognitive, bio-cultural aspects of my argument: how all the wonderful things we keep seeing in every new literary rendering point to the human need for storytelling; and how the hyper sociality of new media is fertile ground for this on account of fulfilling an ancestral tendency to share storytelling. The other chapter will start with the way in which new/old media interactions (intermediality) favors the sociality of storytelling, that’s the easy part. The harder part is the way in which intermediality is a world-creation machine in which readers not only become participants, but part of the story itself. In its own making, a story’s live and unstable development through different media, in my characterization of intermedial text is the basis for its auto/meta-fictional status.

This part is a bit scary because of my well known over-editing condition.

2. Write a third chapter (of which I have many scattered fragments) dealing with my case study Orsai. I’m specially excited about arguing how simultaneously Orsai (the ‘real’ project) became its own story as it slowly wove its text intermedially.

3. Since I’m writing so much on self-referentiality and self-consciousness it would only be silly not to exploit it. And so, the third step will be to write a lot about my writing. What this means for you dear readers is, for the month of December, I will post on a daily basis something related to my own live writing with the hope of getting whatever feedback, words of wisdom and encouragement, and, why not, some virtual pats on the back.

4. I’m going to leave only chapter four for the Winter term.


It’s going to be dark and cold.

I won’t be going home for the holidays.

I’m going to have a blast!  …And at the end there’s going to be a scrapbook of all that.

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