Snap that thing thread, cont.

1 04 2013

There is one area in which I’ve never been good, will never be good, and. . . I don’t mind.

I’m talkin’ ’bout writing, specifically, deadline-oriented writing. I always wait until the latest possible moment to start something, and I always pull it off.

Always: there may have been times in which I didn’t, or turned out something so terrible that I might as well have burned past the due date, but excepting those few moments of freak out (paralysis in assembling an undergrad policy paper) or granted-ahead-of-time extension (grad human rights paper), I git ‘er done.

Now, latest possible moment doesn’t mean last possible minute. A research paper requires, duh, research, and the latest possible moment for a long and complicated piece might be, say, a week or two, while the lead time for a short and simple piece is a day or two. The point is that I’ll almost always have more time than a day or week or two, but will wait until I can feel the deadline before cracking open the word processor.

I have no control over when that feeling arrives. I’ve mentioned previously that I am not a particularly intuitive person and I don’t trust my gut, but this is not anything I’ve been to reason my way through. I can tell myself Get to work!, but unless that stress switch gets flipped by something beyond my comprehension, it ain’t happening.

And I’m fine with that.

That might be the one thing which distinguishes my writing procrastination from every other kind of procrastination: the stress is productive, creative, even. It’s not necessarily a pleasant experience—long days fixated on a required task are rarely pleasant—but I don’t hate it, either. Instead of anxiety scattering my mind, the pressure charges my concentration. I don’t lose focus—I gain it.

Like I said, I don’t know why or how this works for me, I just know that it does, and have been taking advantage of this. . . skill (?) for as long as I’ve had writing due.


. . . Which is another way of stating I’m up against a ghosting deadline, and may be a spectral presence on this blog for the next week.




4 responses

2 04 2013
2 04 2013

if you need a break along the way:

3 04 2013

10 04 2013

Heh – that brought back memories of the research term paper in college (John Muir and the Building of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, as I recall) that I banged out in the 36 hours before it was due… 🙂

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