Why do I research? Why go through so much effort and long, long days of pondering, going through my data, writing small bits of a paper? It is these little epiphanies you experience after a day of hard work. The insight you gained. The proof you found. The piece you were able to write.
Epiphanies, may be small, are the things that make you tick. I find them in my research. I make sure to have at least one per day. How? Just by changing the plan if one activities is not giving it. A year ago, I had such a clear experience of an epiphany by changing my activity. I was transcribing and adding first codes. At one point, I felt like a was walking through mud. I felt down and incapable. I even started to doubt my reasons for pursuing a PhD. Then I thought, why should I feel this way? Couldn’t I do an activity that helps me progress, instead of slowing me down. I started to draw. I love drawing. It usually makes me happy. So, I decided to draw what I had been transcribing and coding that day. I made cartoons of the conflict situations that I was working on. I gave me such a rush!
I was excited and showed my drawings to my husband. He said the best thing he could say. He said, he now really understood what I was doing. That was my epiphany! Designers are usually visual thinkers. A drawing instead of a story will make them understand. It also something I learned as bachelor student. A picture says more than a thousand words. And here it is: