Do you feel that you’re like that woman in online advertisements who seems to be turning in one direction, but then all of a sudden, even while you are looking at her, has turned and is now going in an opposite direction? Do you need something holding you and your intentions together?
You need a linchpin—the pin that locks a wheel in place or the critical element in an argument or in a system that ties everything together and makes it all work.
Where is the support or the critical element that keeps you and your writing on track and making headway?
When I was talking recently with a dissertation coaching client, I realized that she had taken the major steps to put a linchpin in place, but there was still more to be done if it was to perform critically.
Her daily schedule is peppered with many different activities, commitments, meetings, responsibilities, volunteer work.
In the middle of her daily schedule, written in boldface, is the name of an undergraduate class in which she has enrolled. She is taking the class voluntarily, and she loves it.
She’s a bit embarrassed to admit that she’s doing so brilliantly in the class when she is making only modest progress on her dissertation.
But she is clear about why she took the class. She says that she wants to prove to herself that when something is required on a regular basis, she can indeed do the work and do it well. This class has the making of a linchpin.
The class not only gives her a routine, but it also gets her to campus. Her hope had been that she would go to the library and work, but after the class is over, she goes home and lets down.
Before she knows it, the afternoon is gone, and along with it the time she could have put on her dissertation.
It’s curious how we can easily make a misstep or take the wrong road. But with a dissertation, everything is fixable.
Given that she is very clear about why she wanted to take the class, she has everything she needs in order to regroup. In order for her to get some work done, she needs to stay on campus and not fall back into the beleaguered grad student mentality. Rather than let down and lose her momentum, she can make use of the mindset, energy, and good mood that she has when she leaves her class.
She has already made the commitment to take a class that would get her to campus. The next critical step is to take advantage of the location.
You do so much that is right. For the most part, you set yourself up for success. You may have the linchpin almost in place. However, like my dissertation coaching client, you may need an added measure of support and a bit of a shift for the linchpin to fall into place.
What is your linchpin?
All good wishes,
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com