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Snatching a Desperate Hour -- Writer's Poke #155

For Writers:

I needed to write my dissertation to finish, but the thought of writing something 200 pages long (and 200 pages would be on the short side) kept me from writing for five years.

Meanwhile, I was paying my tuition each semester so that I could stay active in the program. I pretended that I was just making an "alumni donation" to the university, and this was supposed to make me somehow feel better about paying out thousands of dollars just to keep the hope of finishing alive.

Then that May, I received my annual progress letter. There was a new graduate program director, and his letter indicated that they planned to deactivate me from the doctoral program. I wrote back and asked for one more chance, to which he responded: "You have until August 15."

In other words, I basically had three months to write and defend my dissertation. And guess what I did that summer? I wrote my dissertation. Something that I couldn't do in 5 years I was able to do in under 3 months -- all 240 pages worth.

What impossible acts have you been able to complete?

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible" -- Walt Disney


  1. I have come here from Mr. JOHN GUZLOWSKI's blog.

    I have read some of your posts and would like to revisit for more reading.

    If you like reading short stories from an Indian writer, then a visit to my blogs would be an interesting one for you.

    Naval Langa

    Another Interesting Blog

  2. Thank you for dropping by Naval. I look forward to reading your stories.

  3. Dear mr. Bret R. Fuller

    Here in India the university awards the degree of PhD (doctorate) after three years of struggling with a guide and then submitting the thesis.

    Naval Langa

  4. I have a friend that teaches at my college; she still goes back to India to meet with her guide, and it's been much longer than three years... hopefully this year she will earn her PhD.

    India seems to have very strict graduate school requirements.


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