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Back in NZ on “writing the thesis!”

Hi there!

I’ve been pretty quiet on Facebook and this blog for a while because i’ve been dedicating all my energy to the write up of my PhD thesis. The challenge has so far has been immense and the process is starting to take its toll on me psychologically. It’s okay, I was warned that the write up would be challenging. 

But on the positive side I am so grateful to be back at home in New Zealand. The last visit to Sydney was arduous (despite staying in some nice places like Bondai Beach, Rose Bay and Merewether in Newcastle -thanks guys!). As much as it was good to get the support and advice I need from supervisors and colleagues, and as grateful as I was for being put up by friends, I realised it is incredibly difficult to write unless you have a stable base… and even then (now) it is still difficult. 

The hardest thing is having so much information stored upstairs, and on my laptop, about about a multitude of experiences that have occured over the past 4 years.

How does one write about all this information in a coherent form?

I guess it is a case of trial and error, draft and re-draft?!

The worst part is my “inner critic” which can sometimes be unrelenting. The process of writing and creating a report like this means that you need to get comments from others and you need to revise what has been written. However, for some reason when you are writing about things that you have put your heart and soul into, the process quickly wears heavily upon one’s emotions, for we are bound to make mistakes lest we not be human. I have often been told to switch off my emotions when doing research, but somehow this strategy doesn’t seem to work that well, nor does it seem correct ‘for me’ at least  – so onwards the with the emotional journey i crusade, for better or for hurt. 

During the last few days, as I was in the process of writing up both “biomarker field kit” study and “resuscitation education” study which I carried out in Sri Lanka, I was hit by what is commonly referred to as “writers block”. In fact, this feeling has been a constant battle that I seem to be facing these days. 

A multitude of poetry seems to have come to my rescue, some of which I would like to share with you as it gives me some solace. 

Don’t worry, I feel will make it though this, but the struggle is real. 

It’s a shame that I can’t be in touch with more of my friends, especially those in Sri Lanka, where the “heart” of this project lies. However, I know i just have to push on through and get this part done. 

Thanks for all your support
I hope you are all well – where-ever you are!

Take care
Bishan 🙂

I have attached a series of pictures from my last 2 trips to Sydney (December last year and Feb/March this year), and one of the many poems that seems to have materialised from my current chapter in the journey. 

These pictures are the highlights of some of the good times over those recent trips to Australia that my research requires – There are pictures from the ACEM (Australian College of Emergency Medicine) Conference in Melbourne, hanging out with friends in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, work at the medical professorial unit at POW, and of course my statistics trip to Newcastle, where Steve and I thankfully managed to sneak in a surf to help those neurones connect! (I think it’s always good to think of the nice memories to help get you through the dull grind! 🙂

Writers Block

Once upon a time I was bright.
I was ready for this literary fight.
I had intelligence and might!

But now I just have a warehouse of ideas.
And behind this lives a sea of fears,
About every theory that I’ve ever constructed.

There is too much information stored upstairs
For what I want to say consumes the whole room,
So then how do I start to dismantle this tomb?

I must put it all together and write up a thesis.
As I need to have a cohesive argument to construe,
But by that time surely it’ll be ‘overdue’?

No. Do not worry you can do it!
All you have to do is take it one step at time,
It is never too late to bring this strategy to mind.

For no matter how much you have to do,
You can only write what is in front of you.
So leave the rest aside, and let it reside,

It will get done over the next day or so,
For you can’t do too much in one sitting,
Being patient with slow progress, it is not the same as quitting.

But beware, you also need to find some form of release,
To write and formulate, you need peace,
It will get done even if your deadlines have to go on lease.

Don’t give up, take a deep breath and wait.
Inspiration will come,
You don’t need to put yourself against the barrel of a gun.

It will arrive in short bursts and start very slowly,
Like a narrow stream when it starts up in the mountains,
But when the water gets down to the valley, its flow will be tremendous.

Soon it will have all the power of the Mississipi,
And you’ll be as happy as a Californian hippy!
For finally you would have found the confidence you so desired.

And be able to write what you once aspired,
So please hold this moment in mind,
Relax, unwind, and to yourself be kind!


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