Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A writing post at the Chronicle

Rachel Toor looked into my brain, I swear, to write "What Looks Like Productivity" over at The Chronicle. A sample:
We keep busy. There are conferences at which to give papers, articles to be crafted from those papers, chapters to be contributed to someone else's book. When you're faced with a project that seems overwhelming, like writing a book, those discrete tasks can look appealing. How long, you ask yourself, could it take to write a paper? An article won't take long, right? And then your procrastination projects are subject to the same delays as the thing you're avoiding.
She did inspire me--that, and the lesson from doing the exciting writing the other night. I realized that what I'd been doing was editing and more editing on a section I've already worked on for too long, with a mounting dread about writing about--well, let's say I am an authority on birdwhistles and have written a lot about them over the past couple of years. The section I was working on demanded that I go back and say something fresh about them, and I was dreading it.

I decided to let that part go for now and have moved on to dinosaur vocalizations, and, with the aid of my Tomato Master and my Wordmaster, I'm excited about writing again. One's the personal trainer and the other the Stairmaster of my writing right now. They're telling me time's up, so I have to get back to work, and what a refreshing phrase that turns out to be when you're excited about what you're doing.

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