From the slightly red glow emanating from my face and limbs, a lack of literature review progress over the past week might be an expected outcome. Despite my prayers for a rainy week, and against all the odds, Scotland failed to deliver the goods last week and instead gave us some sunshine (for most of the week, anyway). According to some statistics, I live in Scotland’s sunniest city, but it’s still Scotland so those sunny hours don’t amount to much. But, in an unusual twist of fate, just as I was buckling down to some serious reading and writing activity, out came the sun and, with it, my glow in the dark limbs. And so, last week I sunbathed, read two novels, did some gardening, fell out of a hammock, and finished the latest section of my literature review. Wait, what? Come on, there’s only so much lazing around in the sun one person can do when they have deadlines to meet.
To be honest, I’m not sure how I managed it. I don’t feel as though I did that much studying, but somehow it was enough. It’s not over, it might never be, but at least one more section is written. Last week was actually enjoyable. I studied when I wanted to study (and, admittedly, when the clouds rolled in or I was too hot outside), and I made the most of my time away from the computer. Perhaps it helps that my ‘office’ is a summer house in the garden, where I’m never far away from the sun should I want to increase my vitamin D intake. Whatever it is, it seems to be working, and I’m not about to change anything just in case I ruin it.
As a result of all this activity, this week marks the start of the final section of my literature review. I know there will be more to do on it later on – in the months since beginning it, the new research that has been published on my subject is slightly overwhelming and a little bit disheartening at times. I still need to get through a lot of reading and a lot of writing. I also know that over the next three years I’ll need to update and possibly completely rewrite my literature review chapter, but the past couple of weeks have at least shown me that when I need to I can, and will, get it done. I think I’ve finally found my rhythm when it comes to reviewing literature. I’ve figured out a way that works for me. Phew. It’s just a pity I didn’t figure it out about 9 months ago.
So, as this week is expected to start with two days of uninterrupted sunshine, I’m all set for a bit of sunbathing. The sunshine won’t last forever, and when it’s over, there will be plenty of time for studying. Don’t worry though – even I can’t sunbathe all day…