Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Procrastination, Self-Loathing, Crunch Time

I know. You're all waiting desperately for house pictures. I promise that some will come soon, but now is not the time. Now is not the time because I have to present a conference paper in a couple of days, and do you know how many words of said conference paper are written? Take a wild guess. Dingdingding! Exactamundo! The answer is ZERO!

It's not really fair for me to label what's happened here procrastination, though. I've been working on the research for the paper since probably February or March, and I've been thinking about the argument and stuff steadily over the past couple of weeks. The problem is, nothing is written. It's when I end up in predicaments like this that I feel all impostor-y and fraudulent, which then makes me think I suck, which then makes me incapable of doing the writing, which is a real problem.

So. Enough of all that. I must find my confidence to get this freaking thing done. And once it's done, I can unpack some more things. And once I give the paper, I can unpack the rest of my house, which will then mean that I can get into a routine and really embark on the summer's research plans. Which of course is all I want to do in the first place, and this conference paper actually contributes to those research plans so I should embrace it rather than being stuck.


(Note: I believe none of the pep-talk-y stuff at the end, but a girl has to try.)


Janice said...

While self-loathing runs pretty high for me in the same situation, it sounds as if you have a pretty solid base of material given the research under your belt and the thinking you've been doing all along on this project.

And remember that conference-goers always appreciate the speaker who comes in under the time limit as opposed to the jerk who runs over. So you don't have that much to write, really.

Notorious Ph.D. said...

You're a published author, so you already know how to trick yourself into writing, so I won't presume to give advice or tips.

Let me just share the fact that I found myself in a similar predicament this year, forced to write a conference paper (on new material) in 3 days, and revise it in 3 more, before delivering it at a conference. It was not a fun feeling. But you've done the research and have the idea!

Go! Write!

Susan said...

Well, rather than a pep talk, I'll say that at a conference I really appreciate a paper that feels alive, which yours will do. Perhaps more alive than you'd wish, but still...

helenesch said...

I hope it's been a productive day! I rarely write things at the last minute (mostly b/c the stress of it nearly kills me!), but when I do, the presentation part--at least the Q&A--tends to go really well. Often when I present a paper I wrote a while ago, it feels stale and boring to me during the discussion. At least whatever you come up with will be fresh in your mind!