In the previous blogs, you created a vision inventory, and you made the commitment to set out on the dissertation journey. Writing a dissertation is never easy, but the journey will be full of personal challenge, growth, and excitement. In the past you have probably viewed yourself as a very successful student . . . or you would not have made it to where you are today. But suddenly, the absorbent, receptive student role you relied on for past successes is a thing of the past. Suddenly you are being asked to become a creative and contributing member of the Academy. If you are beginning to feel uneasy, remember who you are (Exercise 1) and think about the promise of who you are becoming. Even if at the outset of the dissertation, you still feel like a groveling student, when you finish you will be expected to be a world-class expert in your subject matter. What does it feel like to step into this possibility? How will such a remarkable transformation happen, you ask?
Without losing your humility, I suggest that you leap out of the past as quickly as you can and begin to identify with your future self as a Creative Scholar. To begin, see yourself as if you are all ready a member of the Academy and begin acting the part. Act as a colleague rather than a student. Begin to approach faculty and fellow dissertators in a spirit of collaboration rather than in the familiar spirit of obsequiousness (to faculty) or competition (with other students). If you meet some who are unwilling to collaborate, find others who will! Join professional associations and present your ideas. Welcome feedback from those you trust!
To promote this transformation, I suggest you spend a few minutes naming the Voice of your Creative Scholar. The Creative Scholar should be central to who you are becoming or you risk losing sight of yourself when you sit down to write your dissertation. For example, the Voice I identify for my Creative Scholar is “Lightning Bolt.” For me, a lightning bolt is bold, forthright, brilliant, articulate, full of energy, and ever so powerful. Have fun naming your Creative Scholar, and know that you can rely on her or him to guide you on your dissertation path.
The Creative Scholar Exercise
The Voice of my Creative Scholar is __ ____ .
The essential features of my Creative Scholar are:
WARNING: Your Creative Scholar is fragile in the beginning, and at first your Voice is more of a whisper. Your Creative Scholar will need constant nurturing to fully develop.
Dr. Sally Jensen
I am Principal and Founder of dissertationdoctor.com, which launched in 1997, to help academics achieve their goals. At the time, I had seen many doctoral students floundering and often failing because of the lack of guidance. I decided they needed a Dissertation Doctor to help them succeed without “bang-ups and hang-ups” (to quote Dr. Seuss).
I am a master certified coach and I help dissertators by nurturing and developing what I call the Creative Scholar. I have guided over 200 Dissertators to successfully complete their doctoral journeys.
Contact Sally Jensen