Tuesday, November 14, 2006


So for a number of reasons, the MLA paper I'm presenting in late December
needs to be drafted this week. It's not a difficult task--I've written
on the topic before, and the talk is only 15 minutes, not the more
substantial 20 I'd been expecting. So the task of writing 7 or 8 pages
of familiar material shouldn't be that daunting, and yet for some
reason, I've been avoiding it.

How badly have I been avoiding it? In the last couple of weeks (the period of time I had allotted
to working on this piece) I've used "writing time" to blog, to read
blogs (of course), to grade quizzes, to read some new plays that likely
will not appear in my written work any time soon, to do committee work
which is admittedly important, to read applications for the search
committee I'm on--in other words, I'm procrastinating so badly that I'm
using other things I'd normally procrastinate on to avoid writing this

I'm actually hoping that writing this post will help get
my fingers rolling before i have to go to campus in 3 hours for
conferences. Keep your fingers crossed.

ETA: I got about three pages written (including a bit of copying and reworking of old material. The remainder will primarily be close reading, and I can do a five-page close reading, no problem, right? Right?


Dr. Crazy said...

I'll send good writing vibes your way - though I'll also say that I was in EXACTLY your predicament last year, and I didn't write my MLA paper until (wait for it) the two days before. That's right - I wrote the thing on Christmas Day and the day after. Don't be like me :)

Horace said...

Well, fortunately (I guess) it's really kinda gotta be done by 12/1 at the latest, and It's due to my workshopping group at the end of the week. While I may be a little late to my workshopping group, if I can make that deadline, the 12/1 will be fine...

Dr. Crazy said...

Oh, if all you've got is 5 pgs of close reading to do of course you can do it! Think about how little time our undergrads spend on such assignments! But see, this is why you need to chair your own MLA panels and not to participate in reading groups - no such early deadlines :)

Anonymous said...

Do you ever blog about your workshopping group and whether it works for you? I'd love to hear about it. We had a dissertation writers group but two of the four graduated and got jobs --- I'm sure I should be happy, but now I have no group!

In all honesty I'm thrilled my friends got jobs and hope the rest of us will get them this fall. ... hmm ... Aren't you on a search committee? ... hook a blogger up!

Horace said...

The writing group here is a lot less intesive than my diss writing group was...There, we met bi-weekly, and everyone was trying to submit something every time. Here, we're a group of 12 or so faculty; we meet monthly, and each person submits once a year.

I'll probably write up something about the discussion of the piece after we meet in a week or so. But first, I have to actually finish the piece!