What does 14,025 words look like?

In my diary, at the beginning of every week, I hand write in black biro a phrase to predict what I think the week will be like. At the beginning of last week I wrote “Think less just do”, and I did. For the past ten days I’ve been on PhD writing lock down (a phrase thanks to artist Heman Chong). I’ve just completed a Chapter of my PhD, the first Chapter I’ve written, ‘Chapter 4: Curating the China Phenomenon’…just over 14,000 words of who knows what yet…I get feedback on Wednesday at 12pm. Wish me luck, because I think I’m going to need it!

So what does a 14,025-word Chapter look like apart from 28 pages of text? Well, it looks my face right now, a Dr to be with a victory glass of Gin and Tonic so needed (finally!) standing in a Onepiece onesie, it looks like this mess on my office floor, cycling over 100km indoors and outside on the streets on B-B (baby boy) fixie, running over 40km, over 70 cups of herbal tea/normal tea/coffee (yes I counted), baking and cooking from victoria sponge to ginger biscuits to fish pies to fish cakes to Chinese rice to Italian vegetarian meatballs all homemade (fuel for the mind), listening to music from old mix CDs given to me by friends in 2005 to BOY to Bjork to Death Grips to SON LUX to Phantogram to Childish Gambino to Zebra Katz to Mykki Blanco to The Mutant Angels to AlunaGeorge listening so loud I think I’ve given myself tinnitus and annoyed my student neighbours (payback time)…for some reason music is cohesive to my writing (funny right? most people get distracted by music)…I probably should have been shot for some of the bad music I’ve listened to as well that I’m not mentioning here (ahem totally embarrassed), not wearing make up but my skin and f-aids seems to have appreciated it, cutting most sugars out of my diet (Doctors orders as my body doesn’t process or consume in the right way right now) and I’ve found some weird mind clarity from it…very weird, of course impromptu medical chaos appointments of doctors and blood tests and pharmacy collections where I was offered methadone – “Vicky here’s your dose”…um I’m not Vicky (that could have made for an interesting writing day), and an interlude of facilitating a papercutting workshop with a lovely group of 22 people in the random town of Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire (I’ll talk about that in the next blog post).

So if this is what one Chapter does to me…what on earth will I be like after seven???!!! Apart from sublimely happy. I’m sure you’re going to see it unfold as it happens. Here’s to the adventure. I’m now square with emails with a huge to-do list as ever. Deadlines looming…as usual for anyone that is largely self-directed in the arts. The constant hunt for motivation and a battle against the clock. I work best under pressure. So what phrase did i write in my diary for this week? “I have a feeling its going to be defining to the unexpected.” Let’s see what happens, for now it time to reclaim myself again…at least for a few days…this is Rachel. Hi Rachel, I’ve missed you…

phd gin rach

Office mess

B-B fixie

Mixtape CDS

Ginger biscuits

Fish pie

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