Friday, March 23, 2007

And So It Starts

I'm awake. (Or awake-ish, I was actively not-writing my book last night, which meant I stayed up until 2 AM facilitating various distractions and various possibilities for future distraction.) I've read a couple of articles since awaking (one of which was really excellent and written by a scholar with whom I'm slightly acquainted and who I just have to say is delightful both as a scholar and in person). I've looked at the to-do list for the manuscript. I've considered whether I should see if I can get in for an emergency hair appointment today. (There is no emergency other than that I'd like to get back to actively not-writing my book. Another justification is that I'm taking the M-K to the vet this afternoon, which is going to interrupt me anyway.... Yeah, that makes absolutely no sense as a reason to need to go to the salon.) I've thought about having McDonald's for lunch, even though that's also a procrastination thing, going out for lunch, but a McDonald's cheeseburger and french fries and a strawberry milkshake really does sound delicious to me. Except my McDonald's is always out of strawberry milkshakes when I decide I want one (which is only like 2 or 3 times a year, but whatever - I'm clearly on the wrong schedule) and so I always have to get vanilla instead and I'm never really as happy with it as I want to be....

So yeah, I need to get back to work. I do not need to email anyone. I do not need to call anyone. I do not need to turn on the television. I do not need to take a nap (yes, already thinking about napping). Must. Make. Self. Work.

Update. Nearly Noon. I've done much reading. I will do a bit more reading, and then I will do some editing I think (can't really do writing if I'm going to have to break to take the kitty cat to the vet). What I think I now realize about myself is that I have to work myself up into a frenzy of Craziness in order to accomplish things. Like I procrastinate, and I manufacture lots and lots of drama, and then I spend a lot of time gossiping about the drama I invent for myself, and all of this ultimately is part of the "process" that I use for academic work. Clearly, I am never going to have a functional relationship and will die alone. Ok, back to work now!

Update. Nearly 2:30. Well, things progress steadily. Now I have to take a bit of a break in order to take Man-Kitty for his check-up, and then I'll grab something to eat, and then back to the book. I wish that it were easier to see the progress I'm making instead of feeling like I'm working and working and working and getting nowhere. That's the problem with academic writing for me - I feel like I'm getting nowhere and getting nowhere and getting nowhere and then, poof!, I've gotten somewhere, but no instant gratification and very few markers of progress during the "getting nowhere" portion of the process. I try to set up little mini-goals within what I'm doing, but I never really feel satisfied or like I'm accomplishing anything when I achieve those. This is why teaching is in many ways preferable to research: lots of immediate feedback, whether positive or negative, about what one is doing. I always feel like I'm getting somewhere with teaching, whereas with the research.... well, it's a slog. Updates that you don't need and aren't interested in will continue, as they help me to feel like I'm doing something even when I don't have much in front of me that makes me feel like I am. I can't wait until this weekend is over.


Seeking Solace said...

OMG, a Mickey D's cheesburger, fries and a shake sounds soooooo good right now. Except the Catholic guilt would hit me and I would end up getting a fish sandwhich!

k8 said...

You're never alone as long as you have the Man-Kitty. ;-)

Dr. Crazy said...

Oh, but I do love the filet-o-fish as well! I ended up fighting the urge and had leftover cold spicy noodles from dinner last night for lunch. Dinner will have to be considered.

K8: While it's true I will not be alone as long as I have the M-K, if I were to die, he would probably eat out my eyeballs in order to ensure his own survival. He loves me, but he loves himself more. Of this, I am certain.

Sisyphus said...

Sigh, what you describe (the revising, not the Man-Kitty devouring your eyeballs) exactly matches what I hate about writing a dissertation --- breaking it into chunks and rewarding yourself for finishing them doesn't _really_ feel satisfyingly like accomplishing anything. It's all a big slog that feels like it's going nowhere, even if it is moving along.

Come to think of it, it does have its affinities to having one's eyeballs chewed out.

But, eventually, it will be done! And then there will be much celebrating, and good beer.

New Kid on the Hallway said...

Oh, yes, my cats would devour me in a heartbeat if that was what was necessary. Definitely.

And I completely agree about the dreariness of never feeling like you make progress. Sometimes I hate writing!