It’s been a (very) long while since I last updated my blog with a post. I have been feeling somewhat unmotivated recently (did I write this in my last post? oh dear). Academically, I felt a little lost – I was going along a path and didn’t know which way to turn, or even if I was going down the right path at all. I *thought* I had decided upon my research area, and my research questions, but something, just something was niggling away, something wasn’t quite right.
I was then hit upon by a deadline for a funding application – and although after a couple of previously unsuccessful full-funding applications (I have been lucky enough to get a fees-paid bursary), I couldn’t let a deadline go by without submitting something. There really is a *very*, *very* slim chance of my application being successful – not because I’m really crap at sociology or Women’s Studies, but because a) competition is rife and b) competition is of a very high quality and c) my subject area is not really funding fodder. ANYWAY…
I have found, throughout my academic life, that I do work better under pressure. The deadline for the application was 28th April. On the 24th April, I was still unhappy with my research area and idea but was still unsure exactly why. So, with this in mind, I kind of decided not to do anything about the funding deadline. BUT WAIT….
On the evening of the 27th April, it struck me. I finally discovered why I was completely happy with my research topic. I re worked it in my head; I said a few ideas out-loud, and then I went to bed….
The 28th April arrived and I had a meeting booked for 3.30pm. I had the morning to write a 3-page, PhD-standard research proposal. Ok, I had several drafts of my previous research proposal, but my focus had changed. I needed to get writing, and thinking, and fast.
I managed to pull something resembling a research proposal together. So it’s not brilliant by any stretch of the imagination, and to be honest, I am quite glad I didn’t spend days and days on it because as I said, the likelihood of me getting full funding is, slimmer than a slim thing. HOWEVER…
There was a positive in this process (or maybe even more than one).
I discovered I have a considerable talent for writing snappy thesis titles in a rush (I thought my last one was good, but this one?!); I work well under pressure and….
The added pressure, and a miracle from an unknown source, made me completely re-think my area, realise why I didn’t like my original subject and come up with SOMETHING THAT I LOVE AND AM MORE THAN HAPPY WITH – in the space of 24 hours.
So when I get that email telling me my funding application was unsuccessful, I won’t cry into my coffee, I won’t run down the street telling complete strangers how stupid and incapable I am. I will however, remember that this was in no way a futile exercise, but in fact the catalyst for my re-focus and subsequent re-motivation in my Doctorate.
Now I just hope my supervisor has the same enthusiasm for my idea…..