Thesis writing continues… The chapter and chapter sections are in place and have notes and references that are becoming sentences (or half sentences) that are becoming paragraphs, and are being moved around, expanded and deleted. I’ve not updated much about this writing process because writing about writing seems a bit excessive, despite one chapter focussing on excess, dematerialisation and language, but really the thesis writing is keeping me busy enough.

I have been reflecting on the writing process though and thought I would jot down some thoughts/realisations:

* Writing during Toby’s nap times only is not very productive. Just as I get into it (again), the writing is cut short by Toby waking up. Working when Toby napped worked fine during the research and drawing/newspaper production phase as it was something I could pick up and put down quite easily. However, academic writing is another matter.

* Of course it’s easier to study when Toby isn’t interrupting every 5 minutes (it’s actually impossible to write/think critically with a toddler around) but I have found a few tactics to combine toddler-entertaining with some elements of study: reading David Shrigley’s books (as he is one of my key artists I’m discussing) with Toby is very entertaining as every person in Shrigely’s drawings is either Mama or Daddy; and we also watched a 1917 black and white film of Tom Sawyer which Lars Tharp referenced when I asked him to value my rubbish at The Hepworth.

* Going into uni for a good few hours has been quite productive but very expensive paying for petrol and parking or bus fare each time. It’s good for minimal distraction for certain phases of writing but not always the best option.

* Working from home has become easier with the clearing out of my studio. I threw away the HOARD as it was taking up lots of space in the studio and was incomplete as a collection. I was originally considering doing something further with it but as some of it get lost in the various moves, it didn’t seem to make sense as an incomplete collection and actually was worthless to me as a collection. The bin men (or is it recycling operatives?) left half of it (mostly paper, but some glass bottles and cans) which was puzzling as these are materials that usually they will take in any quantity. I was at uni when they collected it so couldn’t chase them down the street with dictaphone in hand to capture some form of rationale, but SITA have promised me they will ‘investigate’.

* It’s difficult to stay focussed on the writing up of what I’ve already done and not get side-tracked by further research/practice. I intend to progress this work with a PhD which will involve further practice based research but the framework for that isn’t even in place and all my efforts need to be going into writing with the submission deadline looming. Having said that, I’m hoping to go to the Oxfam Wastesaver Open Day next Saturday in Batley http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/local-shops/wastesaver-batley It’s for volunteer recruitment but I’m drawn to the tour of the recycling plant aspect. I hope I can take Toby!

Here’s a recent Toby drawing of Mama: