Monday, November 3, 2008

My proposal

I just e-mailed off my 2nd (yes I chose a different topic and decided to write ANOTHER) proposal to my "official" committee today. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm pretty proud of what I produced, and amazed at the same time that I had it in me. You see, I'm not a writer, or at least I have never thought of myself as one. I enjoy reading, but writing.... not for me. Writing this proposal has been a huge struggle for me. From finding the time, to finding the inspiration I have been at wits end for more than a few months. However, the following things have enabled me to actually get to this point.
  1. Take time off from work. You'll never be able to fit it into the weekend and get everything else you need done. And if you are like me you feel more than just a little guilty about leaving the house a mess and your partner with the kids. This also helps keep down the distraction factor of a cute 1 year old. They are at daycare :)
  2. Set deadlines - like really set them. I have set deadlines in the past for myself and have just watched them float by - feeling immensely guilty and even more overwhelmed. It was amazing to feel the power of - no this is due Monday and everyone knows it. I can deal with that. Its not easy but I can deal with it.
  3. Brake everything up into manageable chunks. At first I had one large document with my proposal outline. It made the task so daunting. But when I made separate documents for each section it became much more manageable. I'd set mini-goals for each day I took off that aligned with the sections I was working on. In the end I was able to just combine them all together.
  4. Rely on your friends I called in all the favors I had, but in the end everyone wanted to help me out. From my friends who helped me edit and work through my statistics (I know all about the power valuse of my one-way ANOVA - or something like that). To my committee chairs who took the time to look at my proposal in it's infant stages to ensure that I was going in the right direction and to help me change what I need to do.
  5. Marry the right person. OK you may think that is meant to be funny, but seriously without a great partner in life - this would not have happened. Brent's constant support (he actually made me think I could do this) to taking Evan away for the entire weekend so I could put the finishing touches on my proposal were above and beyond the call of duty. I could not have done this without my friends and family.
So it's not completely over, but I'm a fair bit of the way done. Now I just hope they like it :) (Oh and that they don't read my blog... right?)

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