Thursday, May 10, 2007

Enter the Block

Writer's block, that is.

I'm at the lovely point of being ready to write another paper. Unlike my first paper topic, which grew and multiplied, hydra-like, for years, this project has been relatively easy. There have been bumps and setbacks, but I've always been able to make progress over a course of weeks instead of drifting for months at a time. I hope this is how research is supposed to be, and that my first project was the exception instead of this one.

Unfortunately, now that this project is winding up, I have to write about it. I can't just pat myself on the back, have a margarita, and move on to something as-yet-unexplored. Now begins the part that I dread. I don't have a good process in place for writing; I don't have the mental discipline to just keep plugging away and trust that I'll edit myself into coherence later. I don't have a practice that works for me, and I have a dangerous tendency to spend a lot of time reading blogs or looking for knitting patterns or checking the weather or going to Google School of Medicine when I'm supposed to be writing. This might be the biggest downside of the advent of the personal-computer-as-word-processing-device: the very tool which makes dissertation and paper writing so much easier in this generation can also suck all of your time away. I'd head to a wireless-free zone (since those still exist), but that would preclude any ability to look up references on the fly while I write. Or so I tell myself.

Meanwhile, I'm going to knit this top in this yarn (orchid) using these needles soon. I've got my fingers crossed for Julia's current cycle, and we still don't have any rain in the forecast. More later.

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