Today was tough and frustrating. Tougher than I thought. And did I mention it was a bit frustrating? It was unfortunate that I had to attend to something for work in the morning. This didn't please me very much, but it had to be done. Fortunately it didn't take much of my time, and it didn't require that I go into the office.
While writing, I got stuck several times, and after having such a productive few days last week, this was disappointing. I found it tough to know where to start and what to say. I attempted to start this one section over and over, but to no avail. And then my mind would wander too much and I would wonder what Wife and Moose were doing at home...
After refocusing, I ate way too much junk for dinner (my typical stress reaction). Still frustrated, I turned my back on the computer for a while. I opened a beer that I had been saving for when I felt comfortable taking a break. I stood up from the desk, and I spread out my papers across the bed in the hotel room. I looked over the notes and realized that if needed, I could stand in front of a room of people and discuss the various components of the theory. I could even bring in a few of the more memorable quotes off the top of my head. In fact, there were a few times since the spring that I attempted to construct the theory based upon what I was learning along the way, and those musings were among my notes that were spread out on the bed. So, I transported myself into the future, where I visualized myself presenting the results of my study at a professional conference. I spoke out loud, and I started to explain the theory to, well, to the bed. Slowly but surely, I was able to construct complete sentences. Suddenly my speech patterns became more confident, and I knew I was going somewhere.
So I started writing down some of what I had said. I still questioned the order in which things would go, but then I stopped thinking so damn much and started writing. I wrote a two-page brain dump at this point. It's not great, but it gives me a decent outline where to start plugging in quotes and such. It's a start.
Even though today was frustrating, I got more done on the dissertation today than I would have had I not taken the day off from work.
I plan to take the "stop thinking, start writing" approach tomorrow and just keep going. We shall see.