Yeah, academic writing is hard

The other day I had a student in undergrad ask me if writing a dissertation was hard.  I was a bit amused.  “Yes”, I answered, “it’s really hard”.  I’m not sure if it feels hard because I wrote creatively for years.  Writing a novel comes from a completely different place.  It emerges differently and sings differently on the page.  It tended to stir me up, get me wound.  This type of writing is, well, logical.  And my logical, analytical side quite likes it, but it is painstakingly slow.  I am relieved that I have enough background knowledge in my specialty to at least keep writing.  I know where to find the articles and what scholars will back up my argument.    This is at least faster than it was when I was first conducting my research on my topic and writing papers about it.  I do see progress.  But the writing of a thesis is still different.  I wrote 1000 words today and I am exhausted.   My brain is tired.  My neck hurts.  I need a break.  But at least I leave the computer feeling as though I have accomplished something.  They are 1000 good words.  Well chosen and well supported words.  It’s hard, but it is satisfying.