Writing-Sabbatical Update #2


My study for week #2.

This past week I made good progress towards my goal of writing four chapters for my dissertation this month. I’m not sure if my strategy is the best – And I’m not sure I want you to tell me if you think otherwise – but the goal is to get the basic contours of the project done, write as much as I can and need to, and then spend time shaping and carving the project down into a more concise and final version. So far, in two weeks I’ve written 130 pages or so and two chapters. I am sure that not all of it will go into the final version, or that it’s even all good stuff, but I feel like what I have to work with is moving me forward.

Last week’s task was a lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed writing about “participatory culture,” (Henry Jenkins)[http://henryjenkins.org] and (fandom)[https://gatheringinlight.com/2009/03/10/fan-culture-and-virtual-communities/], and what I see as the core elements to that culture. This is the stuff I have been sharing in various Quaker contexts, including my (Quaker Heritage Day)[https://gatheringinlight.com/2011/03/04/remix-culture-and-the-church/] talk, this is the stuff that I get really excited about. So, as you can imagine, I had a lot of fun writing last week. I’m more worried about the coming week.

This next week I face a more difficult task as I work to bring together the three main threads of my project into a cohesive model. This has been piece that has eluded me since I have begun my PhD, it’s the piece that if I am able to incorporate my three main theories together, I will truly have created something unique within my particular field of studies. And this, as my advisor has reminded me, is why I am finding it so difficult to do. This week I don’t need 40 hours of hard-core writing, I need some quiet time, some time of prayer, some insight and direction from Jesus – and yes, a lot of writing too. I’m not sure who better to help, and I’m not really sure who else is capable of it. I’ve racked my brain trying to figure how the puzzle fits together. I am convinced it does, but I’ve never really poured myself into answering the question it poses me.

This coming week is that time.

Published by Wess Daniels

Teacher, author, Quaker, ​and public theologian. Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College.

9 thoughts on “Writing-Sabbatical Update #2

  1. May you pour yourself deeply into the questions. May they search out the deep corners of your mind, your heart, your experience. May you know how much Jesus cares for you as you go that deep and may the Holy Spirit guide you on your way home.

    I can hardly wait to read it…

    1. Robin, thank you for your sweet prayer. It made me cry when I read it. I really appreciate your friendship and support. It reminded me of all that has happened since I’ve begun pursuing this degree and just how much God has enriched my life through many incredible experiences and friendships such as yours in the process.

  2. Wess, give me a call. I’m a recorded Friends minister, a gifted therapist, and have also been through a dissertation which required me to put together some things that hadn’t been put together before. (The name of my dissertation was “Psychotherapy, Healing, and the Vital Force.”) No, you don’t need therapy. But I can help with the process, if you like. You have my email — write me and I’ll send my phone number. Either way, God bless you as you follow this rich educational and cultivational process.

    1. Hey Bruce,
      Thanks for the comment. I appreciate the offer, If I hit a snag I may be emailing. Today went pretty smoothly and I feel like God has revealed a path forward for me.

  3. I realize I’m catching this later in the week, but I’ll hold you extra special in prayer today and tomorrow as you piece it all together.

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