ABD here. Feeling down, unmotivated and slogging through the dissertation. I've been chaining myself to my desk to make sure I complete my work. Is it supposed to be like this? Wondering if this is more than a 'job' to most other folks out there - should I take this as a warning sign, or just swallow the medicine?
Is this work to you(7 posts) (1 voice)
Something is fundamentally bad about your dissertation if you feel that way.
No it's not. It's pretty normal.
I am usually really excited about a paper or a project for like a month until I start working on it in earnest. Then I start to hate it. Then I like it again for awhile, then I start writing it up and I hate it again. Rinse and repeat through the review process.
The dissertation is worse because your career depends on it, and you're not used to this cycle yet. Just get it done.
the best and most successful folks (research-wise), love what they do.
That said, you don't have to feel pressure to love every minute. Certain tasks, or certain stages of the process, or certain papers/chapters/articles are more difficult/annoying than others.
But on balance, hopefully you love the big picture.
Martinis are good. After a couple you will remember why you like your research. But you will be done for the day
Honestly, I'm not sure that I ever felt like that when I was writing my dissertation. Sure, there were some times when I just couldn't motivate myself to work, but I think that's just because I'm lazy. If you really feel that way, take a break. Go do something else for the rest of the day or week. Then come back to it later. You don't have to work 9-5 on your dissertation every day to be successful. That's what's great about being a researcher. How long you spend and when you work aren't as important as your overall output. Sometimes you need to stop working for a while in order to work better.
OP, it depends at what stage of the dissertation you're at and what type of research you're doing.
I hated my diss at different points, and felt similar to you at times. Certainly, I loathed data collection (mind-numbing work) and wanted to eat a gun every morning and drink myself into a coma every night. But once I finished it and moved on to writing, I was a happier person and remembered why I had started the project in the first place.