Michigan’s Dissertation Writing Retreat Blog


Welcome to your virtual Dissertation House and Writing Retreat

Congratulations on making it to the Dissertation Writing Retreat (DWR).

In the era of Covid 19 where we are all at home possibly sheltering in place, we
still have goals that we want to accomplish. With the COVID-19 coronavirus
wreaking havoc across the world, for instance PhD completion provides
universities with the opportunity to participate in a virtual Dissertation Writing
Retreat. As part of Dr. Carter’s Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished (TADA!)
program and the Dissertation House at University of Maryland, Baltimore
County (UMBC), we have always had an online component for graduate students across the
globe who could not participate face to face.

The focus is the same: The Dissertation Writing Retreat activities focus on
places where students typically have problems: conceptualizing a topic,
developing a pre-proposal, writing a literature review, writing a proposal,
analyzing data, writing the last chapter, and editing.

The purpose is the same: The program is designed for doctoral students who
are writing their dissertation proposals, first dissertation chapters, or who have
found their writing progress stalled, or who desire expert guidance and the
opportunity to join a community of dissertation writers.

The commitment is the same: Students accepted to the Dissertation Writing
Retreat will commit to attending a writing session from 8 a.m.-6:00 p.m.,
Monday-Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday. See below for detailed daily

To participate, you will be asks to blog twice daily at the start of the day and the end of the day. On the first day you will be asked to posts answers to the following questions:

  1. What will you work on?
  2. How much time will you spend daily working on it?
  3. Tell us how much progress you are making, or problems you are having.
  4. At the end of everyday plan what you want to accomplish the following day

Ready, Set, Go… You can tweet your participation with #phdcompletion

446 thoughts on “Michigan’s Dissertation Writing Retreat Blog

  1. Good Morning All

    What’s on Tap for today? I have about 10 data files I need to merge today. That is my goal today and I will start that process at 11:30 am. Tasia what’s up? BlackGirl PhD’ing you’re a morning person what’s up have you finished your morning dissertation tasks? Good Luck with your daily tasks.


  2. Black Girl PhD'ing June 4, 2020 — 12:06 pm

    Good Morning! Catching up on my posting here.
    Yesterday I worked all day. I noticed I pop out my seat a lot. Today I am doing pomodoros (and actually being mindful of them). I need to stay seated and focused.

    I am on the last portrait for this chapter. Then I will go back and review/edit the chapter in its entirety. I still think I am underestimating how long things take — but I’m going to a lot 6/4 – 6/5 to get this work done. If I stop getting up out my seat and stay off social media/news, I think I can make this big push.

    – Finish Caroline portrait
    – Begin review of chapter in its entirety (I will begin by section I think)

    Hope all is well out there!
    I will write my progress this evening.


    1. Hello Balck Girl PhD’ing

      You promised to “write your progress this evening” what’s up? Today is Sunday. Did you work on your document did you hit submit and send something to your advisor?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The weekend is over. It’s that time again to set another goal for the week. Don’t give up. You can always hit the reset button on a Monday.


  4. Black Girl PhD'ing June 8, 2020 — 2:44 pm

    Good Morning Dr. Carter-Veale!

    Thank you for the nudge. As quick as I write that I would post in the evening — I forgot.

    I did not send anything to my advisor, although I worked. I am still not done. I only worked 4 hours this weekend due to some family responsibilities I had to attend to.

    This morning I am thinking about deadlines. The pain of deadlines. By this I mean, sometimes I need to do all-nighters, cut out distractions, etc. to do a big push. This chapter needs to get off my plate as the clock is ticking (54 days). So I’m needing to do a big push, no matter the pain. And… I don’t like that pain. But what I hate worse is being under the gun in the final hour!!!! So, this week is about riding the pain.


  5. Black Girl PhD'ing June 8, 2020 — 2:45 pm

    6-8-20 Post

    Today I am focused on cleaning up my analysis for the first half of the chapter.
    That’s it (which is a lot). Will post this evening on my progress.


    1. Hello Black Girl PhD’ing

      What’s the status of the 1st half of the chapter? Did you get it done? Did you get it to “good enough”. Keep in mind you will get revisions. You want revisions because Revisions gets you closer to a PhD. Holding on to the document hoping for perfection doesn’t. Thanks for posting.


      1. Black Girl PhD'ing June 9, 2020 — 2:00 am

        Good Evening! It’s “good-er” and will be good enough by 11pm! Will post in the morning.
        Have a great evening out there!


      2. Good Morning early riser Black Girl PhD’ing. Where’s your post? I am keeping you to your word. Are you finish getting the document to “good enough”? it’s 9:22am.
        What’s next on the agenda. You could polish the document until it has a “spit shine” but you will still get revisions so what’s next? Tag you’re it.


      3. Black Girl PhD'ing June 9, 2020 — 1:42 pm

        Good Morning! Black Girl PhD’ing is indeed up!

        I’m proud of myself. I stayed up to midnight and got that difficult section to ‘good enough.’ Today I am on to the next two sections which should be easier. Goal is to get them done by 5pm.


  6. Good Morning Black Girl PhD’ing

    I would suggest that you ask your friend who is also working on her PhD journey to join you on this blog. She needs to know that you both are on the same path and that you should be working daily to help each other move forward. I hope you’re up. I know you are an early riser. Prove me right. Blog in and say hello.

    Hey Antonio, How much work did you get done this weekend and what’s on tap for this coming weekend?


    1. Black Girl PhD'ing June 10, 2020 — 2:38 pm

      I am up! Good Morning! I have an online writing group MWF mornings.

      I submitted that findings chapter II to an editor. That chapter felt like the Color Purple… “I may be 80 double spaced pages, I may not make sense, but I’m here!” lol. Lots of emotions but at least it’s on to the next phase.

      I will invite Ruqayyah to the blog. That’s a great idea! Thank you.


      1. Black Girl PhD'ing June 10, 2020 — 2:41 pm

        Action Tasks – June 10
        I am turning my attention to FCHP III. I still have work to do on FCHP I – however, I have not touched CHP III at all outside of sketching an outline. I will work on chp III for the next two weeks.

        Today I will spend my time reviewing the chapter sketch and determining my next steps for writing.

        Have a great day out there!
        Will check in later.




  7. Well Black Girl PhD’ing Hope that you are up already. Where is your friend’s post. The train is headed north make sure she is one it. I wish you all the best in your writing today. How is Chapter 111 going? Did you start with an outline? Are you applying what you learned from the previous chapter?


  8. Black Girl PhD'ing June 11, 2020 — 2:41 pm

    Good Morning Dr. CV,

    I think my friend is coming. I told her, so we shall see :).

    I am filled with anxiety as a get back into this next chapter. Trying to breathe and do my small steps. My daughter graduated 8th grade yesterday (online 😦 ). I only worked 3 hours and spent the rest of the day celebrating her milestone.

    In those 3 hours, I pulled notes and sketches of outlines I had previously completed for finding chapter 3.

    Today am revisiting these documents and trying to wrap my head around next steps (and a timeline to those steps).

    Will check back in this evening.

    Thanks so much!


    1. Black Girl PhD'ing June 11, 2020 — 2:43 pm

      Oh, I ran this morning and listened to Audre Lorde via the Girl Trek 21day walking challenge. I’m late to the game so A. Lorde was day one. Very inspiring. I also had a good breakfast, cooked by my freshie (i.e. freshman).



      1. Better late than never. Welcome to your appointment with your dissertation. Where is your friend’s post?
        I’ll keep asking.


  9. Good Morning Black Girl PhD’ing Congrats on your daughter’s 8th grade graduation it’s a time worthy of celebration. What’s on tap this morning?


    1. Black Girl PhD'ing June 12, 2020 — 11:57 am

      Good Mornin’ crack of dawn and still yawnin’ … who this paging me and why… (said in my Biggie Smalls voice πŸ™‚

      Today! Is a new day. I am glad and aim to rejoice in it. πŸ™‚

      Yesterday I made a plan to get this Chapter 3 done. That really helped quell the anxiety I was experiencing beginning again. My plan is at the bottom of this post. For today I am working on reviewing data and outlining section one of chapter 3! I’m not doing good with Zombies, so I will identify one and do it: today.

      Plan for Chp. 3 completion.
      Analysis/Outlining – 6 days June 12 – June 17

      How will you break down these sections and what needs to be analyzed? How many days should each section take?
      Section I – 2 days – 6/12 – 6/13
      Section II – 2 days – 6/14 – 6/15
      Section III – 2 days – 6/15 – 6/17

      Draft – June 18 – June 28

      Writing Days – 25/10 (writing days) = 2.5 pages daily.
      *[won’t work June 21 [father’s day] or June 23 (driving)] – This means there are 2 days that I need to write 5 pages.
      FChp III Draft one complete June 28th. – Send to Ciara, then Carla? Or should I send drafts to Ciara every 3 days as I write them?
      July 1 – Move on to Fchp I draft.

      Ruqayyah says she’s going to start posting…


      1. Black Girl PhD’ing
        I love that you can already anticipate days that you will not be writing. Consider just doing 1-2 Zombie activities that day. Check something off.


  10. Black Girl PhD’ing Did you write anything today? Antonio it’s the weekend we’re looking for you. I hope you both are well and making forward progress on the dissertation.


    1. Hi everyone, yep I’m here working. For the UM folks on this blog I took Cheryl’s advice and signed up for a Sweetland Writing Workshop — you can schedule up to 4 one hour appts with a reviewer each month. The reviewer read my chapter and gave me great feedback. It’s free. Also, Cheryl must have used it before because her picture is on their website! Thanks for the tip Cheryl.

      I am moving right along and hope to finish my third draft chapter by the end of the day next Saturday. My co-advisors haven’t returned the chapter I sent them in late April yet, but after I sent a reminder email they both said comments will be coming “soon.” That was two weeks ago 😦

      But in good news I will have a full draft for them when they send these comments so things are moving!!! Finishing a full draft by December is now looking very possible for me. I didn’t think so before.


      1. Good for you Antonio to keep moving forward instead of waiting for a response from your advisor. I am always saying “You’re not dating” so you are not sitting around waiting for a call and hoping that they “like you”. Sounds like you have a plan and thank you for posting; I like seeing the updates.


    2. Black Girl PhD'ing June 15, 2020 — 2:15 pm

      Dear Dr. CV,

      Happy Monday!!!

      – I read through my prelim (which is a mini study of my dissertation) to review ideas I had around a theme that will also be in this section of the dissertation. This was very helpful in informing my next steps with writing things up.

      – I did a Zombie – which was to begin reading a book on analyzing photographs. Read the first chapter and wrote a memo (300 + words) on my ideas for using Tina Campt’s method of analysis.

      – I also wrote a letter to myself about writing and anxiety around writing. That felt really good and pretty powerful. I landed on the notion that writing used to be a place of comfort for me. The idea of “comfort” stuck with me. I’m going to keep thinking about that as I write my dissertation. Although the process involves pain – for sure – I love to write. Always have. I shouldn’t let this process rob me of that feeling. πŸ™‚

      – The rest of the weekend was family celebrations around my daughter’s graduation. I’m back in the chair this morning.

      Today I will be playing some catch-up.
      Here’s what’s on deck:
      9:30 – noon Section 1 (chp 3) draft outline
      12 noon – 1pm – break
      1-5pm – Section 2 (chp 3) draft outline
      5pm – 6pm – break
      6 – 8pm – Zombie – review proposal related to artifact analysis
      analyze photo according to Campt method


      1. Happy Monday

        Happy to hear about the letter to self. I probably need to write one. I have an evaluation to complete today and it is taking forever. Good to see that you have your day planned out. Best of luck with Section 2.


      2. Black Girl PhD'ing June 15, 2020 — 6:40 pm

        You can do it, Dr. CV!!! You da QUEEN!!!!! You got THIS!!!!!


  11. Ruqayyah Perkins-Williams June 15, 2020 — 4:50 pm

    Hello all,
    Today is my first day participating in the blog.
    My goals are:
    1)Complete final section of literature review (exclusions and withdrawals).
    2) Incorporate final section into draft of literature review.
    3) Send draft to advisor.

    This past week I was able to:
    Complete my Lit review sorting excel chart
    Improve my annotations of 10 articles
    Finish the section dropout.

    Here goes everything!


    1. Welcome to PhD Completion you made it. I just saw your email and realize that I had to approve your first post. Well done. Keep posting we want you to finish. How’s that proposal coming along?


    2. Welcome Here goes everything. What were you able to accomplish on your first day? You announced your intentions now we want to know what happened.


  12. Black Girl PhD'ing June 16, 2020 — 1:45 pm

    6.15.20 – evening post

    Best laid plans –

    I got through data! Didn’t start outlining.
    Cutting these daily goals down to more manageable actions.


  13. Black Girl PhD'ing June 16, 2020 — 1:45 pm

    June 16, 2020 – blog post
    Finding Chp 3 / Section 1 – Draft Outline
    Photo Analysis – 45 min.

    that’s. it.

    Will see how this goes.

    – Kim


  14. Black Girl PhD'ing June 17, 2020 — 2:33 pm

    June 17 – morning post

    *Section – Shenanigans
    drop plop
    outline maneuvering – 9:30 -10a
    outline mischief 10:00 – noon
    Section on Play? incorporate into shenanigans?
    Zombie – review proposal related to artifact analysis
    analyze photo according to Campt method


  15. Black Girl PhD’ing
    I assume you’re up and working hard this morning; it’s practically noon. Did you submit anything yet to your advisor? When do you have that planned on your schedule? How’s it going today? Yesterday it seems as if you lost some steam?
    Sometimes the goal can be simply “words on paper today”. Keep up the good work.


    1. Black Girl PhD'ing June 17, 2020 — 6:04 pm

      I am working! I submitted chapter 2 for review by a reader that I work with. Sending it to my advisor on Tuesday.

      Yesterday was good. I completed most things on my list, and made a final push to fill out my outline per my daily goals. This helped me have a better start today. Almost caught up with my Chp III timeline.

      Today the goal is to finish section 1/chp 3 and begin section 2/chp 3.


      1. Sounds like a plan meaning submitting it on Tues.


  16. Met with my advisor today and raved about our season.
    My proposal defense is scheduled for September 10!! Yay! Happy birthday to me!
    today I will backwards outline my timeline for proposal defense and write 500 words today in my lit review.


    1. Google says you have 85 days until Sept 10th, 2020. Tick tock.


    2. Black Girl PhD'ing June 17, 2020 — 5:58 pm

      Congrats PDub!!


  17. Black Girl PhD'ing June 18, 2020 — 2:14 pm

    Good Morning Dr. CV and ,

    6/17 – recap
    #full disclosure
    Hit a wall yesterday. Not sure if I was tired of staring at the data or what. I noted in my journal “*getting overwhelmed and need to step away from outline. taking a break. then may come back to analyzing photos”

    I turned to some non-dissertation related Zombies that also needed to get done (lease for new apartment etc.).

    I didn’t come back to work.

    6/18/20 – am post
    Today is a new day. Still feeling blah, but going to focus on discipline.

    9 am – 2 pm Outlining (and finishing section one) *stay in my seat, minimize distractions, no snacking, water on hand.
    2 pm – 4pm attend dissertation defense while walking trail
    5pm – 5:45 pm photo analysis (*am acknowledging I KEEP avoiding this!!!)
    6pm – *treats/zombie – read up on analyzing school days photos.

    Cheers to a productive day!


    1. Good for you Black Girl PhDing I am challenging myself to stay focus for 1 hour to get this project done. Thus at 6:07pm I should be done!!!!!!!!!! Just checking in


  18. Black Girl PhD'ing June 18, 2020 — 2:14 pm

    Whoops! GM Dr. CV *and Phdub!!!!


  19. Black Girl PhD'ing June 22, 2020 — 1:59 pm

    June 22, 2020

    Good Morning! I hope everyone had a nice weekend celebrating the men in your life – whether earthly or heavenly! Here are my goals for today:
    (1) Draft FChp. III 3.5 pages
    (2) Draft – photo analysis – descriptive memo.


    1. Sounds like a plan. I just finished a 2 hour zoom meeting. I have on 3 to-do items my plate, 1 student’s chapter to finish reviewing (6 more pages to read), finish up eval, finish up formatting. If I finish those 3 things today I will feel like I did something. Those are my top priority items. Thanks for posting today Black Girl PhD’ing. It’s 12 pm what have you done so far; I know you are an early riser.


  20. Black Girl PhDing are you still PhDing?


  21. Black Girl PhD'ing June 25, 2020 — 1:37 pm

    Good Morning!

    I am today!

    Yesterday I moved back to Ann Arbor so, no phd’ing was accomplished. Today I’m back in the saddle. I will be moving over the next few days so I am trying to keep a study pace while also turning my life upside down temporarily.

    I just got my office set back up so I will chime in shortly with my goals.


    1. Black Girl PhD'ing June 25, 2020 — 2:55 pm

      June 25 -28, 2020
      Goal: this week is to get 20-25 pages done by June 28, 2020. This will free me up to move June 29 – July 1st anxiety free!

      June 25, 2020
      – 5 pages
      – Photo Analyze 1 photo (Gore) and one archival (Fisk)


      1. Moving? travel safe. 3 days to get 20 page done, that’s about 6.5 pages per day. Good luck Black Girl PhDing.


  22. I finally hit submit on my evaluation today at noon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yeah after staying up until 2am. I know I will get feedback on fix this, take this out blah blah blah but those are edits and I won’t get “start over.” How is the writing coming?


    1. alright alright alrighhhhhht!!!! (said in my Kevin Hart voice). πŸ™‚ Congrats!!!!!


  23. Another day another opportunity to get it almost right. Do something today to move your dissertation forward. Today on tap for me is Data analysis and inputting data and verifying data. What are you up to? Black Girl PhDing are you finished moving? Is your dissertation finished?


    1. Dear Dr. CV!!! Whooooo!!! I have been to hell and back. I am moving. The movers/packers cancelled at the last minute. I had to quickly figure something out. This has railroaded me for three days! But finally, we are moved and my office should be up and running by Friday. Meanwhile, I was able to get 22 pages to my reader (as planned) before this happened πŸ™‚

      Great news on getting that report locked down!!!!!! Bravo!!!

      I will be back in the game on Monday. I will begin posting again then.

      Have a great week!!!


      1. Here’s that post. So you promised to be back on Monday. Did the mover cancelled because of Covid or just because they’re slackers? Guess what you survived now it’s Monday what’s up?


    2. I hope you got my message about moving? If not, I will repost!


    3. I hope you got my post about my move fiasco!!!! Long story short, my world has been turned upside down for the past few days. My office should be up and running by Friday. I did have one win. Got 22 pages to my reader (as planned) before things went downhill with the move.


      1. No I didn’t get the post about the moving fiasco. But I am glad to see a post from you. Good to see that you got something to a reader. How long do you give the reader to turn things around? I got feedback on my evaluation and so I am working on that today after 3 back to back meetings this morning. What have you been up to this morning. What chapter are you on and how many days until your deadline?


  24. Black Girl PhD'ing July 6, 2020 — 5:55 pm

    Hope everyone had a great weekend.

    This week I plan to:
    (1) finish draft of findings chapter 3.
    (2) analyze archival photos (need to determine how many)


  25. Black Girl PhD'ing July 6, 2020 — 5:57 pm

    I sent the above text last night — or at least I thought I did! LOL. Forgot to press ‘send.’ Those are my goals for the week. I been working this morning. I’m going to keep going but will chime in with my progress/update tonight.

    Goddess speed with your evaluation feedback! More later…


    1. Good Morning Black Girl PhD’ing I hope you are working diligently!!!! Keep moving forward. I know you are up already. Today is day 1 of our Dissertation House at UMBC!!!!


      1. Black Girl PhD'ing July 7, 2020 — 3:48 pm

        Good afternoon! I am up and working. Had a meeting with my advisor who wants to set a pre-oral defense for early September! All I could think is, “Oh my God, how am I going to get all of this done!!!” And also I thought, “You really don’t need more time!!!”

        Needless to say, I’m shaking in my boots, gathering myself, and getting my head back to it. Also, met with my editor yesterday and she felt my current draft is much stronger. So that’s good news.

        Still working with the goal of finishing this chapter by Friday of this week, and descriptive analysis of archival photos.

        Wishing I was at the Dissertation House! Wishing ya’ll much productivity!


    2. better late than never. Glad to see it now that you were able to hit send. Keep up the hard work


      1. Black Girl PhD'ing July 8, 2020 — 1:28 pm

        Good Morning!

        I’m up and getting into it. Today:
        – 3-5 pages on chp 3
        – descriptive analysis of archive 12 photos

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So Black Girl PhD’ing did you make some more progress on Chapter 3 How many pages did you accomplish today? Any Zombie activities accomplished?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Black Girl PhD'ing July 9, 2020 — 7:22 pm

        Wade in the water…

        So! On Tues. my advisor spoke with me about setting a pre-oral defense date for the first week in September!!! OMG!!! I literally had to go to sleep for the rest of the day. I had a lot of worries that had to do with the start of my job on September 1st.

        Funny, by Wed. all those fears were washed away, as I learned I can still start the position (under a different title) until my degree is officially conferred. What a weight lifted.

        And so, I’m here… Werk werk werk. I’ll do a separate post on my progress on this weeks goals.


      4. Hello Dr. Carter-Veale,

        I hope you had a good weekend!

        I’m at 44 pages on that Chapter 3. Also analyzed the archival photos. It as a good week.
        I took the weekend off. I’m planning out my week this evening.

        Zombies… I have to get better at these. Although I haven’t been referring to my list, I have been writing on my context chapter as ideas come up. I have also been keeping an ongoing list of people to invite to my dissertation defense. I will try to get more intentional with the Zombies this week.


  26. Good morning all,
    Submitted and received feedback on chapter one. Still trudging through chapter 2.
    Goals Today:
    Review feedback of Ch. 1
    Add missing section headings to Ch. 1
    500 words completed of chapter 2
    Draft writing plan for complete proposal draft (Due 7/31)


    1. Black Girl PhD'ing July 8, 2020 — 2:17 pm

      Boom! Congrats PDub! We da mix!!!


    2. Love it glad to see that you hit submit. msphdub, good for you!!!! Feedback get’s you closer to a PhD, holding on to the document doesn’t way to go!!!


  27. Black Girl PhD'ing July 9, 2020 — 7:28 pm

    July 9 – action tasks update

    – Chapter 3 going really well. We got 21 single-spaced pages over here…
    – Will be turning in a completed draft of Chp. 3 tomorrow.
    – I didn’t get “12” photographs described (for analysis) yesterday — more like two. So, gonna do two today. I think that’s more realistic.

    I wrote a poem this morning too. I used to write all the time, just for myself. I also used to enjoy sharing the poems with my friends. So, I’ll share it here. I wrote this one to get myself going…

    do you.
    [a poem for me]

    yesterday was okay
    today will be better
    it’s hot as hell outside
    can’t wear my writing sweater.
    my hair is too long, too gray, needs a cut
    my booty is quite fluffy, i need to do some squats.

    thoughts thoughts thoughts
    they got to get higher,
    got to walk in the sunshine
    make my vibration lighter

    so what about the hair, the booty, the sweater,
    you doin’ a dissertation girl! you moved to the water, got your own bathroom, a job,
    life is getting better.

    look around you, everything is good
    you’re pushing all things up,
    elevating as you should

    cast your worries aside
    let the spirit move you- you good!
    wax poetic, you’re a writer, take them papers
    by storm! no weapon formed against you,
    no fouls, no harms.


  28. Black Girl PhD'ing July 10, 2020 — 7:08 am


    It’s 3am. Shutting it down. Thought I would slide in here with a quick update. Completed my goals for today!!!
    Will chime in tomorrow, but it won’t be early.


  29. Black Girl PhD'ing July 13, 2020 — 1:27 am

    Hello Dr. Carter-Veale,

    I hope you had a good weekend!

    I’m at 44 pages on that Chapter 3. Also analyzed the archival photos. It as a good week.
    I took the weekend off. I’m planning out my week this evening.

    Zombies… I have to get better at these. Although I haven’t been referring to my list, I have been writing on my context chapter as ideas come up. I have also been keeping an ongoing list of people to invite to my dissertation defense. I will try to get more intentional with the Zombies this week.


    1. Black Girl PhD'ing July 14, 2020 — 5:41 am

      Long day today. I was able to turn in 44 pages on FChp 3. It still needs an intro and conclusion, but it’s on the page! I also did some more work on archival analysis. It’s almost 2am. Tomorrow is a new day.


      1. Good morning Monday. I hope you are working. I am on a staycation for a week.


      2. Black Girl PhD'ing July 20, 2020 — 4:24 pm

        Wonderful!!! Get some rest!!!

        I am working. Big goal. Get all findings chapters to my advisors on 7/31.

        Please don’t follow this thread on your staycation. I will post but expect no replies!!!! If you reply, I will stop posting until your vaca is over :).


  30. My staycation is over and boy did I need it.


  31. Black Girl PhD'ing July 30, 2020 — 1:49 pm

    Wonderful!!! Congrats!!!!

    I’m still out here. Already started working today. I will post some progress this evening.

    Welcome back! “)


  32. Black Girl PhD'ing July 31, 2020 — 1:45 am

    July 31, 2020 – Evening Check-in

    Things are going well. My advisor approved of my final findings chapter with minimal changes!!! Super excited about that.

    Now the work is getting to the edits on findings chapter 2 — which will be split into two chapters. This will be a heavy lift but given my momentum with the 3rd findings chapter, I feel like it won’t take me as long.

    Today I began reorganizing the chapter and pulling a bit more data in anticipation of splitting the document into two chapters.

    Tomorrow I will all move all the portraits/analysis into the new structure. I will then spend the weekend fixing everything up.


  33. Black Girl PhD'ing August 5, 2020 — 1:46 am

    It’s crunch time! As I type those words, I’m like, “Has it ever not been ‘crunch time’?” Meh, who knows.

    Findings Chapter two has morphed into 3 chapters! This is good news but I need to get it edited by Friday. I think I can do it if I revise 5 sections per day, wed – friday. So, that’s the goal.

    I need to start mapping out a realistic date for my pre-oral that would allow my Committee enough time to read the document.


    Hope all is well out there!



    1. Good Morning K

      What’s up and what is the status of the dissertation? Have you submitted something to your advisor? Are you still on schedule?


  34. Black Girl PhD'ing August 15, 2020 — 11:22 am

    Good Morning Dr. CV!

    I am doing okay. My advisor really liked my last findings chapter and says there were minimal changes needed before the pre-oral defense. Over the past two weeks, I have turned my attention to findings chapters 1 – 3. Previously, this was one long chapter that my advisor felt could be 3 chapters. So I have been drafting/editing those.

    Working on Chapters 1 – 3 has taken longer than I anticipated. I wanted to have it done on Aug. 7th. It’s not, although I am keeping a steady momentum — it’s slower than I would like.

    I’m trying to quiet everything around me to enter into a deeper level of focus. Also (just this morning) I decided it might help to break my tasks into mini-tasks (i.e., “In 30 minutes I will… XYZ). I’m hoping this will help me pick up the pace. I would like to have this into my Advisor by Monday, August 17th.

    Thank you for asking! I will continue to chime in.


  35. Black Girl PhD'ing August 21, 2020 — 11:00 pm

    Dear Dr. CV,

    I hope you are winding down from a great summer! I’m still pushing along although I have not posted here much. Working daily but feeling a bit lulled by constant distractions — little distractions.

    This weekend I plan to put to bed my last findings chapter!!!! Going to work to stay extra focused and not be distracted by anything!!! Not even a tornado πŸ™‚


  36. Black Girl PhD'ing August 23, 2020 — 1:04 pm

    writing this morning to meet a 3pm deadline. #chapterfinish(ing)


    1. Good Morning Black Girl PhD’ing I hope you are still on the hunt. Good to see you still posting. I did not forget about you.Keep moving forward and as always stay healthy.


  37. Black Girl PhD'ing August 25, 2020 — 10:11 pm

    Dr. CV! I’m out here in these “sheets!” πŸ™‚

    Almost done with FCHP 1 which is now FCHPs 1, 2, & 3. Friday is my goal to quit and submit!

    I’m doing a writing program with NCFDD now thru November.


  38. Black Girl PhD'ing August 25, 2020 — 10:11 pm

    I plan to defend in October. So I will shift to writing on publications in November.


    1. Good Morning Black Girl PhD’ing

      Glad to hear that you have a plan to defend in October and that you have hooked up with NCFDD through November. I hope that you are still rising early in the morning and working. If you continue to the end consider that next September you will not be doing the same thing and you will really truly and honestly be done for the Christmas holidays. You can celebrate without the guilt hanging over your head. A good dissertation is a done dissertation. Even if I don’t write I think about you often. Have a great productive writing week.


  39. Black Girl PhD'ing September 15, 2020 — 1:26 pm

    Thank you so much, Dr. CV. Yes, I am still rising early. Been on a little struggle bus as one of my beloved mentors and committee members is transitioning. He has a rare form of cancer and he is 86 years old, so I think he has decided not to have treatment. I’m devastated but also so grateful for his support along this 6-year journey. Corona just makes it feel like people are vanishing. You can’t visit. So, I have to accept this. I have been trying to feel what I feel and keep my momentum too.

    This week, I am working on addressing feedback/edits from my advisor for findings chapter one.

    I will check in on Friday!

    Wishing you the best out there.


  40. Black Girl PhD'ing September 24, 2020 — 12:13 am

    Dear Dr. CV,

    My heart is broken. My beloved mentor has indeed passed away today. I am devastated. I ended up taking a day to collect myself. Tomorrow will be a new day.

    Full dissertation scheduled to go to my Committee on 10/2 so I have to keep pushing. Will rest on 10/3.

    Hope all is well.


    1. πŸ’™πŸ’› Hugs sis!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. OMG, Black GirlPhDing Sorry for the late response. When it rains, it pours, then the flood shows up. My thoughts and prayers are with you. You can do this.

      How are you doing? You can always send me a personal email so that we can talk. I am soooooo sorry to hear that. It is difficult to bounce back from that. It happened to my sister the day before her defense her advisor passed; they didn’t reschedule it but she collected herself enough get through it and the committee was sympathetic enough acknowledge the loss of an advsior and the impact that it might have.


  41. Good Morning Black Girl PhDing

    We are in the Employee DH this week at UMBC and our thoughts are with you and others still working on their dissertations. I hope you are still working hard because this could really be the last semester you spend working on your dissertation.


  42. Black Girl PhD'ing October 9, 2020 — 4:39 pm

    Good Day Dr. Carter-Veale!!!

    Happy to share I had my pre-oral exam yesterday!!! Defense being scheduled for week of December 7th…
    I’m out here! I may need a session with you on some advice for this leg. Will let you know …

    Hope you are well!!! Will keep checking in!


  43. Black Girl PhD'ing October 28, 2020 — 12:46 am

    Dr. CV, Dissertation Defense December 9th – 3-5pm! …


    1. Hey Black Girl PhD’ing Happy New Year How are those revisions coming? Are you Done Done?


  44. Good Morning All
    A good dissertation is a done dissertation. The struggle is to move it forward daily by 1. 1 paragraph, sentence, citation, figure, 1 table. No excuses.


  45. Welcome to this year’s Virtual Retreat. We are going into our 13th year. The Dissertation Writing Retreat Starts today. Post your measurable goals here. We begin at 8am Sharp. A good dissertation is a done dissertation the perfect dissertation is unfinished.


  46. Sandra Daisy Espinoza Montes May 10, 2021 — 11:49 am

    Good morning everyone,
    I am Sandra D. Espinoza Montes, I am a third year doctoral student in counseling psychology. I am very excited to begin this retreat! Today I will be working on my dissertation proposal, specifically my acculturation section. I plan to spend 1 hour in reading all my acculturation paragraphs and findings areas where I can expand.


  47. Hello everyone,

    I am Jess Montoro, a 4th year doctoral candidate in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan. I am looking forward to getting some writing DONE this week πŸ™‚ Today I plan to complete the table of contents for my dissertation proposal. I also plan to read 5 articles and summarize them.



  48. Hello,

    My name is Jess Montoro and I am a 4th year doctoral candidate in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan. I am looking forward to getting some writing done this week!! Today my goals are to a) write up the table of contents for my dissertation proposal, b) read 5 articles and c) summarize the 5 articles.



  49. Hello everyone,
    I’m Amy and I will be working on my fifth dissertation chapter today. I have it roughly outlined, and today I am focusing on drawing on my notes and various readings to write the sections I have outlined. I have never been great at time management, so I really appreciate the more focused environment that this retreat provides.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome, Amy You can do it. 1 chapter every 10 days…go go go.


  50. Greetings! I’m happy for the opportunity to participate in this retreat. I’m a doctoral student in educational leadership with an organizational analysis concentration. I’m working on my proposal. Today I have drafted my table of contents, and I will further develop my chapter 3 and revise my problem statement. Let’s make it a great week!


    1. Welcome to the DWR and Thank you for your participation. How is Chapter 3 coming?


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