I have been struggling with my own feelings of inertia. I feel like everyone I know is moving, learning, and growing. I had a few major problems that severely impacted my progress on my dissertation. Unfortunately I had to make a significant change with my dissertation committee. I am lucky that I have a great advisor and have had a lot of other support. I made the right choice and I am proud of myself for getting out of an untenable place. However, this has set me back in a few ways.
It was an incredibly stressful situation. This process has caused me to lose self-confidence. It also took a lot of time. Time I can't get back. It took me awhile to realize how angry I was about this.
I am incredibly grateful that my current committee is in place but I still feel like I am struggling to put myself together. Imposter syndrome? Maybe. It's hard to say. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself.
I was talking to a friend about exactly what I want out of my dissertation. We identified three components: quality writing, creation of new knowledge, and depth of mastery. Each of these components. has some overlap but I separated them out because I see them as goals I want to achieve. I view quality writing as writing precisely and with a bit of style. A lot of dissertations I have looked at are so dry that they are lifeless. Creation of new knowledge means not just regurgitating existing scholarship. I think it also means being a bit daring. Depth of mastery means demonstrating that I can engage with my primary sources and the existing scholarship.
So, where does that leave me? Writing is actually going fairly well. I am in the middle of the third chapter of my dissertation and I know I have to start writing a bit faster to get done. However, being mindful of these components might make it a bit easier to keep everything in perspective. I hope!