Sunday, June 26, 2016

Everything In Its Right Place

'Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon,
Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon,
Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon,
Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon....

Everything in its right place.'

Radiohead, 'Everything In Its Right Place'. 

Ever since I started my Masters two and a half years ago I have felt like I am alternately banging my head against a brick wall and curled up in a feotus like position, desperately trying to make sense of things. The song I just quoted was written by Thom Yorke while he toured the world on the OK Computer record, and in interviews years later he recalled that every morning he would feel like he was going through the motions in the worst possible way.

One of the reasons I have been having trouble blogging is that I haven't been able to write anything for two and a half years. I'm not kidding. With the exception of 4500 words of exploratory writing done last November, a few proposals and the presentation I gave at a conference last July I have nothing to show for the last two and a half years. 

So I've called it. The project is no longer viable and I need to move onto other research. I need a new project, fast, and I need to find new sources to write about.

One of the problems with my Honours work was that I picked too MUCH material to write about. I have had the opposite problem with my M.Phil, in that finding translated sources to write about have been few and far between. I was fucking around with medieval texts even though I am a Renaissance girl and trying to crap out diamonds when I wasn't eating the right food. 

The good news is that what sparked the shutdown and eventual realisation that I wasn't getting anywhere was that I stumbled upon a newly published collection of Renaissance letters. You guys! This was exactly the book I was looking for two and a half years when I wanted to write a completely different project but couldn't find the right sources! Paired with one or two other texts I now have a really good foundation to write the thesis I wanted to in the early autumn of 2014. So apart from the massive frustration that comes from two and a half years of wasted time, I really feel excited and ready to work for the first time in ages. My university approved a six month suspension of my studies, so I've bought myself some time, although I am now watching the clock closely.

The other thing that has me excited is that I am planning a trip to New Zealand next February for another conference. It seems the only way I can justify travel in my mind is with conferences and research. I have never been overseas so I am in the process of applying for my first passport and making plans and packing lists to keep me focused and excited. I've picked up election work for the two elections being held in NSW in the next three months (one federal, one council) and that money should be enough to get me to Kiwi land. 

I'm bashing out this post at 3am on a Sunday morning because I inconveniently woke up in the middle of the night, but felt compelled and come and update you all (all 7 of you). I'm sorry for the absence, but given that I spent most of the last 4 months too frightened to leave the house and curled up in a ball, I don't know how else to explain away the time. I haven't even seen the mentor since before Easter. Yes, it's really been that bad. 

But I'm coming into the light now. I wish for you all the same. 


  1. Woohoo, breakthrough! I can totally relate to the unique torment that is a research project that will not play along. It may feel like wasted time but I'm sure that lessons learned and skills gained from the past couple of years will help you tackle the new project. Unfortunately in research we sometimes we go down the wrong road or a road that's not ready to be traveled, as difficult as it is, these roads are part of the journey. Every seasoned researcher has been down them, often many times over. I'm so glad things are looking up for you! xox

  2. Yep. Not wasted, just time spent figuring out the real path. You'll love NZ.

  3. So happy for you!!!! Go Moz, Go!!!! It's never wasted time, it serves a purpouse, I'm sure you've learnt something from it.


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