Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Research love, good and bad

As I once again spend the day reading background materials for what's actually a fairly small piece of writing, I'm trying to remind myself that research love comes in two flavors: bad and good.

What I mean by "research love" is the stage of a project in which you're really interested in it to the exclusion of other things: you read about it, think about it, even dream about it, and that's all you want to do.

Yes, I taught my classes this week (and will teach some more before the week is through), but all I really wanted to do was to talk about the work that's put me into this state. I wanted to read about this even between classes yesterday, which I didn't do, because part of getting ready for a class for me involves reviewing and writing notes and rereading the works I'm teaching as close to class time as possible, so that I'm in that particular zone for the class.

Is there a bad side to this? Yes. It involves a disease that should be called dissertatio procrastinatis or some such thing, because dissertation writers get it, too--that feeling that once that obscure ILL book you ordered came in, you'll get right on to the writing, but until then, any writing would be premature.

And it would, in a way, because it would bring the research love phase to a close and subject it to the hard rocky path of reality that's called "writing." I'm hoping that, as I start writing this piece, the research love phase will energize the rest of the process.


Ancarett said...

If you can come up with the perfect balance between research love, writing productivity and keeping on top of teaching, let me know. Although, from the looks of this, it sounds as if you're making real progress!

undine said...

Thanks! As you wrote over on your blog, those classes keep rolling right along to interrupt, though.