I, too, am feeling like I'm really down to nothing lately. I have spent the better part of the last two weeks writing personal statements for a post-doc that is due at the end of the month. This has left me little time and energy to write anything except said personal statements. Not to mention the internal guilt that shows up every time I try to do or write something besides these personal statements. Today, however, I am making an exception because I am running into a wall and I just need to do something besides continue to bang my head into it.
I don't know what my problem is. Perhaps it's the fact that my dissertation remains in a constant state of flux and I have very few empirical results to describe in the personal statements. Or, it might be because I really want this post-doc and I am psyching myself out over the application because I am nervous about it. Either way, it is preventing me from doing much else right now and has made me feel very one-dimensional and lonely. I'm sure that it will get better and I've started to put together the sound-bite/cocktail party version of my research which will help for the remaining applications. But, damn, if it is this bad this year, I am really not looking forward to the full-on job search process!
Part of this flux was caused by the fact that, upon meeting with my advisor three weeks ago, he suggested that a chapter and a half of my dissertation might not be viable with the data that we have and I should wait until we have more data. The good news is that I have research ideas for two to three years down the line. Of course, the bad news is this left me without a substantial part of my dissertation and required simultaneously re-formulating my dissertation concept and trying to re-work this application. But, my dissertation is certainly better for it and is actually becoming more coherent as a result, so I am grateful for that.