Dissertation Writing “Boot Camp”

Monday, May 16th, my university began hosting a “Boot Camp” writing retreat. We have a private dorm room on campus, unlimited snacks (both healthy and unhealthy snacks, woo hoo!), an endless supply of coffee and soda, and the comforting presence of a community of 40 or so fellow writers.

The Boot Camp is two weeks long. We each commit to write at least 4 hours a day, Monday through Friday, for those two weeks. It’s a time to write, revise, struggle, get confused, commiserate, write more, take breaks, and break through.

It’s been awesome. Though tomorrow is the last day. Sad! Here’s what I’ve gotten done:

  • My process is rather messy. Each chapter goes through a stage: (1) draft, (2) revised draft, (3) polished draft, (4) submitted to advisor and approved or revised again.
  • Chapters 1 and 2 were already at stage (4), approved by advisor.
  • Chapter 3 was revised and is now polished.
  • Chapter 4 was drafted and is now revised.
  • Chapter 5 was drafted and is now revised.
  • Chapter 6 was drafted and is now revised.
  • Chapter 7 is drafted and I’m revising today and tomorrow.
  • After that, I only have one more chapter (plus the conclusion)!
  • Then I will go back and polish 4-8. Then I will submit 4-8 one by one to my advisor, and revise some more.

Now back to work…