On Writing A Thesis


One of the reasons I decided to go to university in Germany – as opposed to the States – is that German universities are much easier to get into – not to mention way cheaper. However, getting out is so much harder. Yesterday I turned in my bachelor thesis. I can’t believe I spent four months writing it. So much happened during that time.

▪   NaNoWriMo. A non-writer friend saw that I was going to participate and she said, “Oh, is that for your thesis?”
 Me, “Nope.” I wrote 50k for a contemporary fiction novel. The story has a lot of issues, but I really enjoyed some of its elements that I might develop and use someday.

▪   Christmas and New Year. Christmas break was the best time ever. I didn’t work on my thesis at all. Instead, I wrote the first draft of Hidden People.

▪   Blogging. I got back into blogging. During November, I met great people in the writing community on Twitter and such. I thought it would be over after NaNo. But I have connected with a lot of great writers.

Oh yeah, and I wrote a thesis.

▪   Libraries. Twice a week, a fellow student and I visited libraries across Berlin and each wrote our theses. I couldn’t have done it without the company. Sitting next to each other kept us focused on our work.

▪   Sprinting. Some of my lovely sprinting buddies (among others, Marie and Cait) helped me with my thesis by writing with me. And cheering me on. It meant a lot.

▪   Hysteria. Yeah, towards the end it got a little freaky. I started talking to myself a lot – pep talking and stuff. Once, I started laughing at myself. And I couldn’t stop laughing so the people around me starting questioning my sanity.
 I am surprised I didn’t shed a single tear for my thesis throughout the whole four months! Hardcore woman here.

▪   Working at night. I don’t know why my prime time is between 10 p.m. and 2 in the morning. I got most of work done then. (Are you a night or day worker?)

▪   Finishing. I am still very nervous about formal mistakes or typos or formatting issues in my thesis. Otherwise, I feel so great about having completed it. Yes, I finished the night before it was due; but I didn’t feel like I was rushed or under a whole lot of time pressure.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget sitting on my bed with laptop and iPad, reading the pages, editing mistakes, chatting with Chris until finally finishing at 3 a.m.

And now real life starts and I have to think about getting a job and such.

Er, let’s not think about it.

What’s the biggest/most important project you have ever completed? 


7 responses »

  1. The -biggest- project I’ve ever completed was a 600,000 plus word piece of fanfiction. Took two years. To me they’re all important, so I can’t pick. Congratulations on finishing.

  2. Congrats on finishing your thesis! That’s amazing!
    I’m not sure what the biggest project I’ve done is … The longest manuscript I wrote was around 170k words (and then I cut like 80k words out of it, and that was another huge project, haha). I’ve also done a few long research projects but nothing too overwhelming. Next year I’ll be required to complete a year-long independent project before I graduate from college; I’m planning to write and illustrate a novel, so that will probably end up being the biggest project I’ve ever taken on. I’m pretty nervous, but hopefully it’ll go well. *Fingers crossed*
    As for writing during the day vs. writing at night … I think I tend to write at night more often, but I try not to postpone my writing until too late or I’m too tired to get anything done. I’ve had that problem the past couple of weeks, so I should probably start trying to get some writing done during the day.

  3. Wow, congrats, I can’t believe you managed to finish anything at all doing all of that! My biggest project I’ve ever completed was probably my first novella, it’s not much but it’s mine 🙂

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