Take two pieces of scholarly writing, the multi-level beast and a different piece.
The multi-level beast has been fighting me (see Laocoon) for months now, and although only one small part is gumming up the works, it's a part that I will go to great lengths to avoid writing. Nothing was helping, so I temporarily gave up.
Instead, I took out a piece of writing that I had worked on some time ago and had presented portions of as a conference paper. I reread it and tried to remember why I had not finished it before, especially given the huge investment in archival work that I had put into it. Then I got to work.
I can't believe the difference. I worked late into the evening for a few days, and I wanted to work on the paper all day. I got up in the morning excited about working about it. I talked about it at dinner.
I didn't need to time anything, turn on any anti-internet distraction software, or force myself back into the chair. I didn't feel any compelling need to clean the refrigerator or engage in any other creative procrastination. I resented time taken away from the computer.
When the piece was finished, I sent it.
Now, that doesn't help me with the multi-level beast. But I wanted to record, right here in writing, that I wanted to work and felt happy about it as a reminder that it is possible to be happy, stimulated, and engaged by the work instead of weighed down by it.