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You are not your dissertation

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In tears on the phone, my dissertation client Aurora wailed, “Chapter 2 is destroying me! I’ll be in this article gridlock for the next 10 years! I’m just not dissertation material!” Aurora’s heartfelt confession was not unusual. In my longtime professional practice coaching struggling dissertation students, many have admitted feeling blocked in their writing, whether it’s Chapter 2, the dread literature review, like Aurora, or another chapter that particularly bedevils them. But Aurora’s assumption that she wasn’t “dissertation material” was particularly upsetting.

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