What I'm writing about here isn't anything insane. It's not even remarkable. Still, I want to share. It's part of my journey.

In the past week, I've found myself being productive at new and interesting hours. I used to be a morning worker, and my day in the office would resemble a typical 9-5 work day, with the bulk of my work being done before 1:00pm. Suddenly, I've found myself thriving in the later hours of the day, as the work space clears out and the graduate school building goes quiet. My brain wakes up and I can put words (really decent words) on the page for longer stretches of time than I have in months.

This improvement I've noticed in my work, such as my capacity to focus and produce writing and ideas of decent quality, has sent me into what I can only describe as a period of anxious obsession. I'm still experiencing it now, even as I have forced myself to go home to my bed and leave my work alone until tomorrow. While I would like to say that this is a 'good' type of anxiety, I'm not certain it is. Actually, I'm fairly sure it's not, even though it seems to have disguised itself as such. What's wrong with being productive and working hard when you have the motivation? It seems innocent enough.

The unhealthy part of this comes when I dig deeper into the thoughts about my work that I encountered today. As I sat at my desk in the PGR computer cluster, looking out the window as the sky turned dark, I had an idea: I could stay here tonight and work until I can't anymore. I thought about the quality of nap I could have on my desk, with my snood rolled up under my head and my 'blanket' scarf wrapped about my shoulders. It sounds ridiculous now. It didn't then.

I am only a few weeks into the PGR program. This is far too early to be pulling all-nighters, especially after a day of producing more work than I had planned. So, here I am, writing from my bed and telling you about it. I'm not sure why, but it feels like something to share. I want to get thoughts and behaviours like this under 'control' (or at least monitored) now, so my future isn't plagued by late nights that drain the life out of my days. It's not just about today or the duration of my Ph.D. studies. It's about setting a tone that will follow me for what I hope is a long, successful academic career.


Hello! Welcome to my blog. Thanks for dropping by.

My name is Emily Morgan Harless. I am a PhD student researching late-medieval mysticism, monstrosity, and spatiality at the University of Manchester. I am also interested in imaginary materiality and 'reading skin' in late-medieval mystical revelations and related texts.

I have only just begun my doctoral studies, so I am feeling especially invigorated and enthusiastic about what's to come. Still, I anticipate there will be many highs and lows along the way, and I hope to share that journey as openly and honestly as I feel is appropriate. I also hope to share glimpses into my developing research and professional experiences. I want this space to become a resource for future PhD students, as well as a resource for documenting and tracking my journey.

My online presence elsewhere doesn't offer much insight into my political beliefs or my opinions on the state of 'academia', but I hope that this blog will change that. Sharing my thoughts on controversial topics via Twitter or Facebook feels risky, so taking a 'long form' approach to issues I am passionate about seems preferable. We'll see how it goes.

Again, thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll drop in again soon. Follow me on Twitter, @EMHarless, for notifications of new posts!