Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Writing The Dissertation One Blog At A Time

In this entry, I take a deeper look into my love language and its effects on blogging. Then, I look at how blogging can help me finish the dissertation. 
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I love writing blogs.

Come to think of it, I love doing things that garner an immediate reaction from people.

This may explain why I chose music as my undergraduate major and web development as a career. In each case, I got to create something that was easily demonstrated. Be it on stage, radio, or in a blog, the immediate reaction from an audience was, and still is, addictive.

Similarly, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter provide an audience that is quick to respond. It is this very approval of status updates, pictures, and videos that keeps me going. How do I know? Why, it's my love language, of course.

Love Lanaguage
Love language? you ask. Yes, according to a 30-second quiz, I have come to realize that I respond most to 'words of affirmation.' Gary Chapman explains:
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this (words of affirmation) is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
While the author gears the message toward personal relationships between singles, couples, and families, I have taken this information to better understand myself in other areas.

Knowing that I hunger for adoration and acceptance in all things, there is little surprise that I am, as a result, motivated to do things that has the potential to win approval from others. Although, one must understand that I often march to the beat of a different drummer. I appreciate words of affirmation for things I do well, not for what others tell me to do. I am no pushover.

Equipped with this basic and personal understanding, I realize why the dissertation has become such a monumental task. Besides the length of pages and depth of research required, the most pressing matter is that nobody will see it until after it is all said and done. That is just too long to wait.

The Plan
In order to complete the dissertation, I need to do something that will progress the research and writing while offering immediate feedback and approval. Yes, I love my mentor and committee, but I need feedback and collaboration on a more granular level. Say, on the level of a blog.

Read
The first step is to continue reading journal articles, books, and other literature to develop my ideas.

Write
As I read, I will incorporate my thoughts and ideas into blog posts that focus on different elements of my study. Because I have a tendency to time box my day, completing smaller papers on a daily basis makes the 'elephant' easier to swallow.

Engage
Blog posts will house my most current and relevant thoughts on organizational commitment in the non-profit organization. Individuals who share a passion for the topic may chime in and offer additional reading or perspectives that I haven't considered. Hopefully, this engagement will aid in a deeper analysis and comprehensive report.

Adapt
Finally, I can take advantage of Blogger's site search to identify information and resources as the need arises. Not only will I have my own thoughts, but I would also have at my disposal the collective intelligence of others.

What do you think? Am I missing something? Is there something I'm not considering? Is this a risky proposition? Is it worth doing? Has anyone done this successfully? I would love to read your feedback on this idea. Let's talk about it in the comment section below.

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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