First: let me admit that there really wasn’t much hope for me to do NaNoWriMo this year. In fact, it was really a doomed proposition, given that I’ve felt that I’ve had no free time lately, and really need to make the homestretch push on getting my Phd finished, done, over with. It’s really what I’ve been needing to do, and perhaps part of me has been avoiding it for a while.
Writing a PhD is a complex task. In fact, for a computer science PhD, it’s not even writing half of the time. Rather, it’s all that science stuff of hypothesis, experiment, observe and record, but combined with the added difficulty of software design and coding, and not to mention throwing in all the formal philosophical thought in logic and math.
It’s hard. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do, and it’s been daunting me for a while.
Part of the problem with this thing is my over-achieving, perfectionist streak. When I design and build code, I design a Cadillac and built a tank — or at least, that is my goal, and I’m rarely satisfied with code which doesn’t work that elegantly and solidly. It’s a good trait in many instances, but it can be downright deadly when trying to simply finish something.
Writing fiction is a release for me. It doesn’t involve the constant fact-checking, referencing and demonstrable and extensive body of results in support from bulletproof and extensively tested code. It just needs words, and the world has to have some consistency to it, and it has to be interesting. I can speculate all I want, declare certain things to be true (even though they are patently false) and get away with it, in fiction.
But fact, that’s a real bugger. That’s a thing that demands perfection from me, and it’s damn near killed me.
I was hoping to do NaNo as a mental break, to focus on something other than my thesis and something which demands creative thinking but has few rules. But no idea came, and the time seemed better served in going back to the neglected thesis. The thesis is a complex web, however, and getting back to it — even if it has only be a short while away — isn’t easy. Trying to break off a manageable chunk in the free time I have sometimes consumes all the free time, leaving me with little accomplished. That’s frustrating beyond imagination, and makes it even harder to muster up the spirit..
But enough about that. My thesis is getting some attention again, and I feel close to buttoning down one of the sections into a demonstrable experiment. (Oh yes: there will be graphs!)
As you can see, Movember is progressing along schedule. I’ve also decided that Tuesdays are “vest” days. Why? No reason, other than the fact that there is no reason. I have these clothes that I rarely wear, but I like wearing them. They’re fancier than normal. My job doesn’t need them. I have no reason to wear them. So, I wear them.
It’s my own form of costuming, perhaps. I feel good when wearing them, and wish I could wear them more often. But I can’t, so I don’t. Furthermore, I don’t want to wear these clothes every day. They’d become less special, less like a costume, too normal. We dress in normal clothing most of the time, why would I lower my unusual clothes to normal status?
Instead, I elevate the day by doing some special. Casual days be damned! I want my Formal Day. They become special days, these Tuesdays, and I revel in them.
And now they are blog update days. Ostensibly, this is some post about the process of growing a moustache, but that doesn’t seem that interesting, so they rarely are…
Although now I have to figure out exactly what kind of moustache I can (realistically) grow!