Something New to Puke About

Well, following the recommendation of my boss in the Writing Center, I just submitted a proposal for the PCACA 2018 National Conference. My proposed paper/presentation would be a truncated version of my thesis that covers the same topics, but less extensively than I intend for the thesis.  I’m feeling sick with anxiety right now, and I’m not even sure why.  I think my proposal was reasonably well-written, and I obviously have faith in my topic if I’m devoting my whole thesis to it…  I think I’m nervous because this makes my thesis real.  It’s not just an idea limited to class and a handful of social media contacts anymore.  Now there’s a record of it at some big academic-y warehouse of smart stuff curated by smart people who are smarter than me, and they’re going to see right through me to the fact that I know nothing.  Never have I felt more like that Golden Retriever in the lab coat.

Deep breaths…

I’m afraid that they’ll reject and laugh at my proposal.  On the other hand, I’m equally afraid of getting accepted; then I’ll have to have a full mini-thesis done by March!  What if I fuck up?  What if I can’t meet that deadline, or I get to the conference and just freeze.  Or collapse into a shuddering pile of “Yeah, it’s like, you know, and stuff”?

I know this was a step toward my goals for this research, and that’s good.  That’s huge!  But it just makes me feel so vulnerable, small, and stupid…  I’ve never even felt this way when submitting fiction to journals or lit mags.  Yes, there’s always the fear of judgment and failure, but this is somehow five times worse and more intense.  Am I not cut out for academia?  What if I fail so miserably that I become a meme?

Okay, academia.  Is this what you wanted?!  I’m gonna go hug myself in a corner now.


2 thoughts on “Something New to Puke About

  1. I want to say all kinds of normalizing / “it will be okay” statements. And I will. But I’m very proud that you have taken this step and I totally believe in your work. Keep with your passion, interest and the other stuff will work out. Oh yeah, your stomach will be in knots, but you’ll get tons of support here in getting ready for it.

    I might be more worried if you were all cocky and full of self-glory. Stay humble, go hug in the corner, and we will help you get there.

    Oh, it will all be okay.


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