Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I need a MacGuffin

For reasons I don't want to discuss here, I have been unhappy about work lately. I was hanging out with some former students last night and one mentioned getting a PhD "just for the satisfaction of it."

I wish I could search my Facebook statuses, because I once wrote a whole list of things of things that would be a better use of time and money if personal satisfaction were the only object, including running a marathon, backpacking in Europe, writing a novel, etc. I then spent a lot of last night ruminating (in that half-asleep way that I often ruminate) on whether getting my PhD had been a mistake.

This morning, I don't think it was, simply because my life was stuck when I started working on my degree, and that helped me get going again.

I went to a writing conference last weekend and learned about Alfred Hitchcock's theory of theMacGuffin, an object that moves a story forward, and if nothing else, getting a doctorate served as my MacGuffin. I could use another MacGuffin about now.

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