I hate it when people ask me which I want first, so I'll cut to the chase: the bad news is I still have some 20K more words to write. (This, in spite of the guidelines that say the dissertation should be 'concise' and that there is no minimum word count. . . .)
The good news is I have been reading about The Introduction (10% of the dissertation) and reviewing comments (now that I've stopped crying and can actually see - just kidding) which consistently ask for more summaries and forecasting introductions (which could take up another - say - 5K words, all told), leaving me with just the final chapter I've been agonizing over and some fill-in-the-blanks where Magda has surgically removed anything of current interest to anyone from existing chapters.
OK, OK. . . . she's not that bad. Actually, I begin to suspect that when I hand this in, my acknowledgments thanking her are going to be of the very, incredibly, sincerest variety because I begin to suspect that she is being my lifeline here and I've just been too dumb to see it.
So: this weekend is the Introduction.
Last night, I went through chapter headings and subheadings and looked at my outline and made some rather significant tweaks and it's actually looking somewhat coherent in a way I did not intend when I started this. (which is a scarey thought).
The other really cool thing is that this morning I woke up and had in my mind my next project - which is what I will need if I intend to continue on this research/writing sort of thing - and which fits amazingly well with a position I read about a month or two ago, was interested in, but couldn't figure out why they might be interested in me. I think I've figured out, now, why they would be - or at least why I hope (dream?) that they might be. . . .
I find this 'next step' aspect really encouraging, because I've been stuck so long on the current step, I'd lost all vision for the 'what next?' - the 'so what?' It's amazing what I'll put myself through if only I have a larger goal!
And now the really good news - in an immediate, shallow sort of self-gratifying way - it's after 5 pm, which means that the Oktober Fest down the street is in full swing and the beer is cold and the band is hot! (if you like oompah. . . . ) So I think it's time for a cold one; meet the neighbors; grab a wurst; try to talk some trivia.