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Does anyone have any bottled adrenaline? Being back at work today has made me realise how tired I am and also how difficult it is to concentrate on work when my brain is full of dissertation. It’s hard to think about anything else. Mind you, right now it’s hard to think of anything at all because my head hurts.

Oomph please. Got to work tonight. I have promised myself for months that I would have the thing done by last night, but it didn’t happen. Early evening I told myself I wanted it done enough so that if I had to hand it in I could. That didn’t happen either. I realised as I edited that although I’m about on target for the word limit, one section is far too long and another is far too short. And each time I edit it I lose confidence. I don’t think it’s tight enough, it could be seen as too broad, does my argument run all the way through or do I lose track, I’m not sure there’s enough detail, have I focused on language enough… Ouch.

So last night’s goal is now tonight’s goal. Although I will of course be working every evening this week and all weekend, I want that to be enhancements only, not continually trying to fix the shit I have. There’s a problem with writing as you go. Read something, write about it, write thoughts. Read something else, write about it, write thoughts. That inevitably leads to repetition, which is why I try to colour code as I go along. Even so, I now find myself looking at two paragraphs very similar to each other, trying to work out which is best.

And writing a western style essay on the Qur’an can be tricky. We write in a topic based style. One topic leading to another and another with a conclusion at the end. But the Qur’an isn’t written like that at all. It’s all clumped together and that’s what I love about it – it makes total sense but not the sort of sense we’re used to. It makes it fascinating to study but a nightmare to structure into an essay. No matter how many times I slot bits into their own sections I bump into them again in another section. So it can be better to study one chapter at a time and use that as the structure. I like doing that but even so, using context from other parts of the Qur’an is essential. Something might be written about briefly in one chapter and expanded upon in another and so you build up your picture gradually.

Long-winded way of saying my dissertation seems to be getting a bit circular. But the biggest problem right now is that the three main sections of it get progressively longer so it’s unbalanced. There is a reason for that but it makes me wonder if I should restructure it – but I already restructured the entire thing last week. I’ve been thinking about it all day and the only conclusion I can reach about it is: