Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The "substanceless blue" time of day

It's safe to say I have definitely entered another level of commitment to my PhD. It's becoming an obsession. I find myself getting up early, not exactly the very early "substanceless blue" pre-dawn in which Plath wrote many of her 'Ariel' poems, but around 7 / 8am I will pour my first cup of tea and settle down to my humming laptop in the early morning silence. Sometimes I find I can get more productive work done between 8 - 11am than an entire evening. The mornings are the freshest time for the brain, I'm sure of it.

I'm currently re-drafting my first chapter. The initial draft took a large hit of criticism which I think was linked to my "blue"-ness of a different and more depressing kind last week! It's difficult not to take criticism personally, for comments to swirl around the brain echoing sentiments of "you're not good enough". Thankfully I've broken through that barrier and the words have started to flow again.

What I've found about PhD study is that it's a very personal process where 'barriers' are constantly shifting and self-belief is hard to maintain. I hope my endeavours this time around will be much better received.

Procrastination, however, is still a vital part of study. While on Google Maps, I realised that Street View had come to North Tawton and I was able to virtually walk up and down the street of the small town and stop outside Court Green! I'm currently applying to lots of funding bodies to try and get over to Smith College to look at the Plath archives this summer but if things don't work out, a trip to North Tawton is definitely something I would love to do. It would be so wonderful to actually visit (rather than virtually view) the place that inspired Plath so much.


Melanie Smith said...

It is true, many studies have shown, provided you have had a decent sleep you are more alert and do better work in the earlier half of the day.

That is a lovely picture!

Karen Roderick said...

Before I went back to my "paid" job last summer, I stayed at home and wrote my 2nd novel. I have to say the morning was the most productive time, a time I was inspired and ready to go. I love your blog by the way, fascinating stuff, thanks.

Jazzy E (hivennn) said...

stunning. x hivennn

The Plath Diaries said...

@ Melanie / Karen - Thanks so much for the comments! I think we three are in definite agreement as to the productivity of early mornings! If only our output could be as great as Sylvia!! :) Thanks for stopping by!