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I think your suggestions were solid, practical and generally useful.I have been thinking about your advice for the month since I first posted this, and I unfortunately have to admit these strategies haven't helped me find any motivation to make much progress on my dissertation.This is again another factor that has sapped at my motivation to complete the degree.
I should add, I have already written 3 chapters and am about half through the fourth.
I only need to finish the fourth, revise the 3 earlier and then write an intro and a conclusion.
All of these practices, in my estimation, would help one to train and develop ones internal motivation, but I have little internal motivation (only guilt) for completing my work, and think it is late in the game to try and find personal connection and interest in the work and think that external pressure should be good enough (although it hasn't been enough).
I am very happy for the people in this world who have developed a personal connection to their work and to their jobs, but I don't think that everyone is so lucky as to be personally connected to their work.
But I am only a dissertation away from completing my Ph D and being finished with my poor decision, but I am having enormous difficulty finding motivation to write it. I can't find the energy to read any more boring articles I need to cite or find the energy to write a complete sentence.
Every time I start I find an excuse to distract myself and I don't know how to find external motivation since I lack internal motivation.
I will never know the future and perhaps not completing will open up doors that wouldn't exist had I completed...
and anyway because of the lack of success in getting job interviews my career counselor has suggested that I leave the phd off my resume for the jobs that are outside of academia (which are the bulk of the positions I have been applying for and don't require the phd as a qualification).
I think it would be wonderful if it were the case but Peter's reason #3 is an example of the disconnect between ideal and reality.
Many people in this unequal world would be ecstatic to be earning K a year for the chance to write papers and do research for a professor, but no amount of counting my blessings (and I am very thankful I was born into a world that allowed for the luxury of higher education) gives me the belief that the dissertation is anything but wasted time and paper.