The Dissertation Diary – It Begins

Good day to you internet world. I hope this post finds you well.

So this morning I got this grand idea – partly to keep me sane and partly to practice my craft – to create a diary for my final year at university, centred around my final project. Most commonly known as the ‘dissertation,’ I’ve decided to do mine as creative writing rather than a research based piece. Yes, I can hear you all screaming “easy option” at me. It’s not an easy option, as I’m sure the next years’ worth of these posts will serve to prove. So, inspired by this book I’m reading right now about creating such a weblog (Just a Geek – Wil Wheaton) , let me begin THE DISSERTATION DIARY.

Of course this wouldn’t be indicative of myself without something fairly stupid happening. Naturally, it happened immediately. The Dissertation Diary rolls off the tongue thanks to its alliteration. However, it doesn’t suit my fast paced iOS6 based existence. So I decided to privately shorten the name for my own reference to the Double D. That’s right, no more than thirty seconds into this blogs’ theoretical existence, I had reduced it to a breast based pun. Similarly I also realised as this would be updated fairly regularly, it could become home to my intrinsic pessimistic nature. For example, some life advice: When the Oyster card machine says “Next time, why don’t you top up online?” – Don’t. What seems like a grand painless idea is nothing but 30 minutes of website based agony for you to find that the payment won’t go on to your Oyster until after 24 hours so you arrive at the station expecting to be topped up, aren’t, and have to manually top up anyway, costing you more money… You know, those kinds of things.

Which is what led me to conceive the project idea I’m doing. It has come to my attention that my stories suffer from one flaw. They are all fairly melancholic. Something bad happens, has happened, is going to happen, or twists to happen. It’s part of the curse of creative writing courses I suppose that, whilst learning to do new things, expand your craft and work out what you’re good at, you terminally end up at some kind of vitally depressing moment. It wasn’t until I wrote up a stand-up routine recently that I realised I can shift this part of my work into my naturally endearing self-deprecating stage persona. For once, I actually know what I’m doing with a story, or at least where it will end up.

Writing is a horribly depressing deep dark hole where you start typing with seemingly no real guidance as to where you’re heading. It’s an amazing adventure, coupled with complete and total despair leaving in its wake a plethora of half baked ideas, cast-aside moments and many bottles of whatever world/craft beer I’m preferring to our pathetically mass produced shit this week. (At the moment, Samuel Adams and Jeremiah Weed Root Brew). So it’s amazing that for once, I have not only the idea, but the end as well! I have the exact moment in my head for where this story will finish. All I need to do is guide my three characters on their journey (literal and metaphorical) to that point. Whilst at the same time showing progress, criticism, editing nuance and a distanced relationship with my baby. Coupled with doing the rest of the university work I have to do, forging a career and constantly reading. Which reminds me I need to thank Stephen King for his advice. Apparently having a book in your bag all the time is the subject of ridicule among my friends. Who knew?

So, that’s it. I’ll end this post as I hope to end every post in the Double D. With a word count for the story and what I’m currently reading. For this entry, I’ll also show you what I’ve read over the summer that’s helped me to nurture this germ of an idea.



Word Count: 0

Reading: Just a Geek – Wil Wheaton

Summer reads: The Hunger Games/Catching Fire/Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins; On Writing – Stephen King; Black Dogs – Ian McEwan; The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald; Ready Player One -Ernest Cline; A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking; Watching Baseball Smarter – Zack Hample; A Catcher In The Rye – J.D. Salinger.


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