Writing. I love it and I hate it.
I love the idea of writing. Being able to share with others what I found after having thought deeply, read widely and investigated thoroughly a particular topic.
But I really struggle with the act of writing. First, I struggle with the blank page – the enormity of the task ahead. Then, I struggle with editing and revising my first draft – because I am a ‘big picture’ kind of person, not a ‘details’ one. Finally, I struggle with accepting that whatever I am working on is ready for submission – which, let’s face it, is fatal for someone whose career depends on getting published.
Writing does require a lot of passion and courage, as discussed in this blog post.
Right now, I am revising two articles. At one level, I am excited about these two pieces. I really want to get them out. But, at another – deep dark – level, I am struggling. I’m really, really struggling.
It does not help that I have piles of marking to do, classes to prepare and assignments to set up. These tasks keep me busy. And being busy with teaching stuff is the perfect excuse to procrastinate writing.
I need to refocus. I need to go back to writing every single day, whether or not I feel inspired to do so.
I have in the past committed to specific writing goals – for instance, by signing up to Studious Jenn’s brilliant initiative on academic writing accountability (see here). Following the progress of productive academic writers like @joaovc has both stirred and paralysed me. But, sure enough, my enthusiasm eventually faded.
Alas, I shall not waste time with the failures of the past. I need to cross this desert.
Here is my public commitment (again) to writing every single day – regardless of how busy I am, or how (un)inspired I feel. Starting tomorrow…
How do you motivate yourself to working on tasks that are incredibly important but are not urgent and/or do not have an immediate, tangible outcome you can hold on to?