Lessons Learned in the Process, so far

Knowledge gained

Knowledge gained

Today’s Episode:

  • My progress
  • Lessons Learned in the Process, so far
  • Upcoming Topics

Date: July 16, 2013

Name: Dissertation Writing

Topic: The Proposal

Milestones: Chapter 1 revisions

Summary:  Not as much progress was made this week mostly due to starting with career changes, in search of a new one.

I am still gathering and all my articles for my literature review.

Risk: Over thinking the process and getting stuck

Risk Mitigation Strategy: Meditation, work on a different section, and working on smaller chunks.

Project timeline: On Time

Committee Member: Dr. Walter McCollum & Dr. Anthony Lolas


Lessons Learned in the Process, so far:

The first thing I learned was that I edit as I type which is painstakingly slow. This has been a problem for me in many aspects of writing whether it’s my dissertation, a screenplay or even a novel. It’s okay to make a mess on your first draft. An argument has been made that you should make your first draft as messy as you want, then clean it up later (Bolker, 1998; Simon & Goes, 2013). The one thing I have been working on is that I have to learn to follow Bolker’s (1998) advice which is if it doesn’t sound okay while you’re writing, make a note and move on. Wish me luck!

The other think that I learned was that I have never been a good out-liner; however, I have learned the value in doing them. I’m what they call in the fiction writers world, a pantser. A pantser is someone that writes off the top of their head or by the seat of their pants. Yes, I have an idea where the story is going but not sure how I’m going to get there. Not recommended for any writing, especially scholarly writing, you have to get your reader from point A to point B which is why you need a map to get there. So one of the things I did to help was to basically do a more detailed outline then the one I used for the table of contents.

The last thing I learned was never to give up and build that support system. This dissertation process has been a huge challenge for me and almost made me quit which is why I started looking at persistence, the fortitude of continuing even though there is a desire to quit, of students in e-learning programs (Terrell, Snyder, & Dringus, 2012). Here I managed to focus on the podcast a lot more and positioned myself to help with a weekly dissertation cohort which allows students to connect with others going through similar issues.

Upcoming Episodes:

I will be exploring various risks or challenges that you may encounter on your scholarly journey and tips to get through them.


Bolker, J. (1998). Writing your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day: A guide to starting, revising, and finishing your doctoral thesis. USA: New York, NY.

Simon, M. K. (2010). Dissertation & scholarly research: Recipes for success. (2nd ed.). USA: Dissertation Success, LLC.

Terrell, S. R., Snyder, M. M., & Dringus, L. P. (2012). A grounded theory of connectivity and persistence in a limited residency doctoral program. The Qualitative Report17(62), 1-14. Retrieved from http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR17/terrell.pdf


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