Desperate Times, Desperate Measures: Writing My Dissertation vs. Funding Abortion

I’m two years in to my PhD program, and I need to finish writing this dissertation soon, or it’s going to be the death of me!

Don’t get me wrong. I love Wheaton’s program. My supervisor and second reader are fantastic. And I think that this Barth, Bonhoeffer, and the Bible project is worthwhile.

But I’ve got a wife, a kid, a commitment to the Church, and I need to move on with my life.

SO, in order to give myself a daily kick in the pants, I’ve used to commit to writing 500 words OR editing 5 pages (1,250 words), related to my dissertation, 5 days a week.

I got the 5-5-5 idea from Rebecca Schuman’s tweet:

Academics, or anyone who has a long writing project, here is some gratis coaching. The ideal default pace is 5-5-5: 500 words OR 5 pages of editing, 5 days a week. Telling yourself that’s not enough is essentially giving yourself permission to do nothing. 5-5-5 will get it done.

If I don’t achieve this goal each week, $250.00 will go to an “anti-charity” of my choice. In this case, I’ve picked the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation.

I’d rather my money not go to this organization, so I plan to succeed in my commitment.

You can track my progress here.

By joshuapsteele

The Rev. Dev. I solve problems with a pastor's heart for people and a programmer's eye for detail. Learn more at

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