Feeling quite positive as have just completed a first draft.
I realised that the only way I’d find the focus to write and find the headspace to absorb and synthesise relevant theory was to take two weeks off work and avoid all distractions. So, I packed away my TV, cleared my diary as much as possible, turned emails and phones off.
In ten days, I have now written 11,500 words plus several thousand words of (unfinished) appendices that total 99 pages (so far). I have also read several chapters of four books, lots of journal articles, evaluation reports and other desktop research. I have also had informal interviews with two more people and had several (live) project meetings which will inform this paper.
I had planned to conduct further research at the baths, but they were closed this week, so will do that next week.
When I started 10 days ago, I’d a broad idea of what I wanted to write and the narrative for the paper based on research and reading to date. However, it felt daunting as I had no idea how and where to start. I’m also used to having access to more quantitative data, which wasn’t possible. Working with qualitative was not in my comfort zone and has felt a struggle at points, especially when trying to construct arguments. If I’m honest that’s just a reflection of the way I approached the paper my assumptions on what data might be available – actually I’ve realised you just have to work with what you find.
So, all in all a productive ten days in which I’ve learnt loads. There is still a lot of work to do, but it’s a very good start.