Setting forth (#30DaysofDissertation)


Setting forth she claims her magic, guided by faith and ritual.

This is the year I planned to finish my dissertation. I submitted my prospectus early this year, have done hundreds of pages of reading, and have collected 286 pages of my own writings for it. I also gradually built up 154 pages of original research thanks to the generous voices of sister priestesses in my Priestess Path study group on Facebook. And, now…nothing. I’ve just been waiting, hoping it was going to finish writing itself. Surely there is a dissertation in there somewhere amongst all those pages, right? RIGHT?!?!?!

I picturing nurturing my masterpiece into completion during the restful, dark, incubatory, gestational winter months. I imagined curling up into the cocoon of winter and then bursting forth with completed dissertation in hand. I didn’t count on fulfilling 360 orders on etsy during the month of November!

I posted on my personal facebook about my slim hope of still somehow finishing it before the end of the year and one of my friends, who finished her PhD quite a few years ago, suggested working on it for 15 minutes a day. This seems like a tiny and obvious suggestion, but it released something in me. I realized that this year I have participated in four 30 Days courses in which I made a blog post every single day (save Hecate, for which I still made more than 20 individual posts). Why wasn’t I steadily working on my dissertation during all of those days? I think if I spend a minimum of 15 minutes for the next 30 days working on my dissertation in some capacity, I can finish it. So, #30DaysofDissertation is born. I’m making a commitment to spend at least 15 minutes a day working on my dissertation for the next 30 days. That means it has to come first or at the very least, it can’t be left until last. Something else will have to slide underneath it in priority, because I can no longer continue to wait for the mythical perfect time that involves long stretches of uninterrupted, contemplative hours. Today, during the baby’s naptime I added 30 pages of text from my ritual kit books plus transcribed 2.5 past recordings from the woods, bringing my pages up to 308. Clearly, my most significant challenge is not going to be in not having enough information, it is going to be about wading through what I do have and shaping it into a coherent final form.

I can do this!

November 2015 079Side note: I’ve also been having fun making bookmarks out of our goddess greeting card bundle. If I can find time for bookmarks, I can find for daily dissertation work, amirite? You can get your goddess greeting card free bundle here: Come Join the Circle! – Brigid’s Grove

Categories: 30daysofdissertation, dissertation, practices, priestess, self-care, writing | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Setting forth (#30DaysofDissertation)

  1. Cynthia

    Just a thought…is your vocation and the process of vocational priestessing getting in the way of your vocation as student? A collision of priorities? I’m asking because I am seeing a possible idea developing for my own investigations.

    You can do this. Look at what you’ve done so far!


    • Thank you! I do think this is possible–I told my husband the other day that I don’t call this project The Priestess Workbook because I am eventually creating a workbook for others, I also call it that because it describes the work and it is *work* to describe it and tease out the nuances!

      • blessmyown

        “Between a rock and a hard place” reality IS challenging! It was a brilliant idea to gather data on FB – qualitative, reflective and first person. Researchers have spent years in the field coaxing information out of sometimes less than enthusiastic participants. People came to you. I think it speaks to the need so many of us in this line of work have for focused discussion and knowing that we WILL be heard, especially by peers. Take care and by summer, Someone is telling me you’ll be done! ;o)

      • FB worked so well–it became a really co-creative process instead of a solitary one. ❤️

    • It is hard to do the “withdrawing” necessary to do focused, sustained work and it feels ironic or hypocritical somehow to be so busy writing about doing this work that I can’t actually DO it. Sorry, I can’t have a solstice ritual this year, too busy writing about how to have awesome solstice rituals… So, I have to balance that little voice in my head that says that drawing back to center within myself and finish writing this, somehow makes me less than genuine at what I do otherwise…

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