Not a particularly positive way to start a new blog, but given this is a research related blog, and given the stage I am at with my research, I suppose it’s inevitable.
As a part time PhD student, I can either submit my upgrade document this year or next. Although it’s a nice idea doing it now and ‘getting it out of the way’, I have decided to wait until next year. Mostly because I don’t feel ready. Actually, it’s ALL because I don’t feel ready.
So, I am at the stage of re-writing research proposals, possibly starting the upgrade doc and doing a WHOLE LOAD of preliminary reading around my chosen subject. This can be a really confusing and difficult stage to be at. Every time I read another piece of research, or another piece of work on the subject of tattoos/body modification, I tell myself that my work is looking less and less unique and it can’t possibly be contributing to existing knowledge – because the knowledge already exists. It’s disheartening to say the least, and SO TIME-CONSUMING, it’s unreal. I have thoughts racing around my head, tying me and my brain in knots – I always come back to where I started without going anywhere in between.
A common problem in the PhD process, I know. Doesn’t make it any easier though. Which is why I decided to *finally* start writing this blog now – to try and make some sense from my fleeting thoughts. To try and unravel the tangled ball of wool that is my research idea.
A crisis of confidence indeed, from ‘my ideas are boring’, to ‘this topic isn’t worthy of PhD status’ and ‘This has all been done before’ – just the obligatory path taken by every PhD student.
Maybe wine would help?