So, I've been working on my paper. Or, I've been trying to work on my paper. There are a few problems that I've been dealing with:
- I have trouble working in the lab. We have a small lab space, and my desk is right in the middle of everything. People are constantly walking past my desk. I can hear everyone's conversations. The bench space of one of my labmates with whom I enjoy chatting is right next to my desk. No need to even raise our voices. I am very easily distracted.
- I have trouble working at home. I constantly feel like I am about ten items behind on the critical to-do list around the house. That's not even touching the long standing undone big jobs, like finishing up painting the living room.
- Even if I did want to bring my laptop with me to work every single day, I'm not convinced that working in the library is any better of an option, since I would also need to bring all my papers and files with me. Plus, when I sit in the comfy chairs in the nearest library, I just feel like falling asleep.
- It doesn't really matter where I work, I don't really do well when I have to sit for long periods of time. My brain kind of shuts down and I get cranky.
- Oh, I almost forgot, I don't know what the hell I am doing!
- I finally updated my iPod and put all of the music we have at home on it. So, I play really loud music really loud while I'm working. How loud? If you don't wave a hand in front of my face or tap my shoulder, you might as well not exist as far as I'm concerned.
- I still don't know what to do about working at home. Except to not.
- For now I am skipping the library. I used to hide out there when I was so sleep deprived I needed to catch a power nap. The association is too strong.
- I permit myself to get up and randomly walk around every half hour. Bathroom, coffee, water, down the hall and back again. Sometimes I just dance around by my desk. Anything to avoid turning my ass to stone. Thankfully my labmates are amused and not annoyed.
- Whoops! I got nothing for this one. I know what a good paper looks like. I have a plan for writing, too, but it just seems like, no matter what I do, everything takes at least three times longer than I think it will.
So far, I have made really nice, prettyfied versions of 5.5 of the figures. Each one has taken at least half a day of solid work to get done. I have written the captions for all the completed figures. I wrote the "Methods" section a while ago, and I feel like I've been writing the Results section FOREVER! It seems like every time I write something, I end up realizing something that I forgot to include. I don't know when it's going to get done. And my PI is waiting for it. I thought I'd have it done a week ago. I think he thinks I'm not working on it. But I am. I just feel like I'm bumbling around like an idiot. I know I'll get there eventually, but right now, I'm spending a lot of time backtracking and I don't know how to take a more direct route.
All that said, I am really feeling cool for getting to write such a long paper MYSELF (though I fully realize that it will get ripped to shreds in the revision process). This is what I came to grad school for!