I had this thought before. Research is one of the most subtle modes of self-exploitation. Hours spent in the library, thinking of an author, an article, a quote, an idea to expand, to improve, to correct, to talk about with someone around you. Mostly unpaid, mostly more than 12h a days… just for a deadline, funding or the passion of an obsessive topic.
One spends hours, days, sends tons of e-mails to come up with decent proposal to simply get an e-mail declining your application. Even more, I asked for feedback to improve for future applications and this is what I got:
We regret to inform you, that due to the high volume of applications this year, we are unable to provide individual applicants with detailed feedback regarding the selection committee’s decision. We hope you understand.
“Hope you understand?” Really? Really?
I don’t mind if it takes MONTHS, but they should provide some feedback, SOMETHING. Meh. On one hand they encourage me to apply for next year and on the other they just don’t give a damn. If I don’t know my mistakes, I can’t make it better. I need some chocolate/tea/hug… ugh.
Once my bachelor supervisors told me:
- The only way to write a good thesis is to edit, edit and reedit.
He was right. I am very perfectionist and I’ve spent hours looking at my white screen trying to come up with something smart to write and say. Nothing happened.
Right now, what I do is I just decide not to write anything with a specific finality, with a fixed mental image. I just go and write and idea, not matter how badly expressed is or how rumble it sounds, I just force my self to jot it. I know it sounds stupid, but it is amazing how well it works. First you just let yourself be, no pressure, nobody is watching, you can write whatever crosses your mind that you find relevant for your research work. A few hours/days later you review your own writing and edit what you did, change the words, the order, the whole paragraph if necessary. This is the only way I found to feel that I am actually advancing. It makes you feel that you are progressing and it reliefs so much stress out of it.