Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The cure for writing: give up and do more writing

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.


Bavardess said...

It feels great to get into the zone, doesn't it? I need some of that mojo for an article I'm working on now! (She says as she plays on the internet while avoiding the beast...)

undine said...

Bavardess, it does! I still want more mojo to finish that article, too.