Feeling Stuck

For the past week I’ve been feeling a bit stuck with my thesis work. Part of this is logistical, I don’t have that much time to work and most days it’s a matter of carving out an hour here or half and hour there. This means that I don’t have the extended time periods to work through things. I can’t sit at my desk all day pushing through the ‘stuck-ness’. I also have a deadline to work with now: I have to send my supervisor a draft of my methodology section by Feb 20th. That is two weeks away and I know that those two weeks are going to fly. The part I am stuck on at the moment is the final section of methodology where I talk about a focus on Discourse and Power in a methodological sense. I guess I’m struggling with this because, although it is straightforward to claim Discourse Analysis as a method, I need to find a way to articulate it as a methodology, that is, part of my research approach.
In order to un-stick myself I have taken a step away from my chapter draft document and have started to gather up everything I have on Discourse Analysis from the past several years. I have a bunch of notes and references on different computers and I spent this morning’s work-hour gathering some of these together and beginning to look through them. In a sense I’m working backwards here: cobbling together a frame for my methods section in order to trace back to the methodology section. Again, I find that this work is not linear but that I am always circling forwards and backwards through chapters, through ideas, through my data. It is easy to start to feel adrift and I am finding some strategies to moor myself when this happens.
Return to the research question: again and again I force myself to look at the research question and to ask myself. how does this (idea, method…) help me to answer this question?
Put together a loose chapter structure and revise this as I go along. It is helpful to not have a completely blank canvas stretching out before me as I work. I’ve been slotting in ideas, section headings, quotations, in the sections ahead of me as I go. This way I have something to move forward to when I start to feel as though the part I’m working on is developing quick-sand properties.
So, my goal this week is simple: get un-stuck. Move forward.


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