The joy of writing a contents page

Today has been designated a No Work Day. After another hiatus in writing I decided to devote my time today entirely to my literary masterpiece: my MA thesis. I determined to myself not to open up my email and be tempted by paid work. I’m not sure I have entirely succeeded in this aim, work is hard to resist, but the distractions have been minimal.

I started my writing day at 7.30am, still in my PJs and still effectively in bed. I write this now at the other end of the day, 6pm. I am now dressed and out of bed. I would be lying if I said I’d been writing for nearly 11 hours solid. I haven’t. I have three children and a cat. They are the biggest distraction of all and they are currently next to me (the children) playing darts (while trying to avoid accidentally hitting the cat). But I did manage about four hours without distraction, three of those hours still in bed, and another couple of distracted and fractured hours during the rest of the day.

However, I’m not particularly pleased with the number of actual words I have managed to get down in Word. I have written a few random paragraphs; I’m most pleased with the fact I have a contents page that I am finally happy with. This is a big achievement. This is what I am proud of today. It has taken me a long time to get to this stage (18 months to be exact). This, I hope, will give me sound and dreamless sleep tonight.

The contents page reads thus:

Introduction

Objectives

Part I: Research

The importance of things – why paint things

The importance of things – nothing is more real than anything else

The importance of things – thing power

Part II: Practice

First experiments: How we experience things – sight

Second experiments: How we experience things – language

Third experiments: How we experience things – touch

Final experiments: creating the eternal circle – and back to reality

Conclusion: towards a new cyberspace

I don’t know if this means a lot to many people, even those in the art world, without knowing my research question (which is about things funnily enough). I am possibly a little deep into the treacle of my own art practice and philosophy to see it clearly and objectively. But I regard this as progress. The headings may change. Nothing is solid until hand-in day. But I feel as if a weight has lifted somewhat, or at least some of the weight.

In addition, I have now found a way to start the thesis, which was my previous stumbling block. It came to me in Costa Coffee in Walsall last week. Now I have a contents page, and now I have an opening paragraph I am happy with, I feel a little more confident that the rest will flow. 

My coffee didn’t look quite this attractive

It may not, but right now, I feel it might.

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