Dissertation: Week 1 – I’ve finally started ‘Granny Killer’ (provisional title)

I’m writing this to keep myself on track. I had a good first few days, until Monday. I wrote about 7000 words between last Wednesday and this Monday, but now I appear to have ground to a halt.

7000 words isn’t bad, I suppose, for the first draft, and I keep thinking of things that need changing when I write the second draft on my laptop. The first draft is hand written, in my notebook. The notebook has a fairy on the cover that looks curiously like Liv Tyler, but they added wings to make her less Arwen-like; probably for copyright reasons.

Sorry, back to the topic in hand. My dissertation. The creative piece has to be 13,000 words of consecutive prose from a new piece of fiction, and the creative analysis part has to be 2000 words. For that I’ll be concentrating on three areas – the conventions of crime fiction, the use of real crimes, criminals and detectives as inspiration by crime writers, and regionalism in crime novels – especially in Britain.

At 7,000 words I’m half-way there on the creative piece. I have arranged to do my dissertation supervisions by email, so I don’t have to travel to Lincoln. I can’t afford to; the student loan has all been spent on fees, travel, food, council tax, other bills. Basically surviving while attempting to study. Once a month I have to type up what I’ve written and email it to my dissertation supervisor for detailed, substantial feedback. That should be helpful. I hope.

Just looked out the window and noticed the bin. It’s bin day tomorrow and I haven’t had the bin emptied for four weeks, so I suppose I’d better go and put it out. And tomorrow is also my Post-Diagnostic Support Session with the psychologist. I don’t actually have official confirmation of my diagnosis yet and she wouldn’t even hint at it in her emails last week.

I’m anxious. If I get the suspected diagnosis of ASC – Asperger’s Syndrome, there’s nothing they can do to help, I’ll be passed on to a charity that might possibly be able to provide some information and support. If they decide on a different diagnosis, I’m back to square one, trying to work out why my brain doesn’t work the same way as other people and feeling like the odd one out all the time, with no explanation for my anxiety and depression, or my limited social skills, my dislike of changes to routine or plans, my pacing, fidgeting and tapping, and on a really bad day, rocking back and forth in my chair (sorry! everyone at uni, can’t help myself.).

It’s not uncommon for autistic women to be misdiagnosed as OCD or BPD, or ignored completely, and I don’t know what the psychiatrist’s qualifications or experience is, so now I’m wondering if he’ll dismiss everything he’s seen, heard and read because he’s one of those that doesn’t believe autistic women exist. Maybe I’m unnecessarily torturing myself, but anxiety lies and so does depression, so I don’t know what to think and I’m probably not going to sleep much and be a horrible person tomorrow.

Anyway, time to get offline and do something else. I’ve noticed a distinct increase in my anxiety whenever I spend more than a few minutes online without purpose, and especially if I go on social media. I had to go out food shopping this afternoon so I didn’t get my nap either, so I’m frazzled and tired. Also, my spelling is atrocious right now. Considering going up to my bedroom to cuddle with the dogs and Wabby, and have an early night.

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