Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I blame the Olympics

I'm having trouble with an article. It's actually a chapter of the diss that I'm peeling off - it won't be part of the Egg. It is Spawn of Egg. And it's not that I'm having trouble figuring out what I'm saying - it's actually largely written - it's been written for 2 years. I'm just having trouble beginning the tinkering process that will make it a stand alone piece.

I've set up deadlines with Senior Medievaliste here at the Dream Academy. I've also already workshopped SoE with my writing group in early May. I got some *great* feedback from that - I remember being excited about it...back in May. And then I tossed it aside for another Egg chapter, for travel and conferencing and trips to Medieval Mom. And now that my deadline is looming (my goal was to have it sent out by the end of the month) - I can't get into it again.

I have tried many ways to procrastinate working on SoE: I have planned all my classes, set up my course websites, and most recently, I have watched the Olympics every night into the wee hours (Oh, the drama of the women's gymnastic team finals last night!! How many more times must we see them interview Mike Phelps??). But I now need to stop fooling around and get to work.

What are some of your strategies for getting back into a languishing project? Um, besides just doing it? Any helpful incantations? Small offerings of food to any particular gods? If so, which ones? What do they like to eat?


K said...

I'm getting ready to work on a "Spawn of Book" article too. When I'm working on things I wrote a while ago, sometimes it helps to read them aloud. It focuses my brain on the point I'm making and how well I'm making it. Perhaps that will work for you as well. another technique I find helpful is to stand up and walk around while I read. For some reason this wakes me up a bit and gets me into the prose.

I also use bribes. Like, If I finish two pages, I get to watch the Olympics streaming equestrian events, or Google reader. Which is how I found your post, via bribe.

Good luck!

medieval woman said...

Ooo, I like the bribe thing! I might try that! Thanks for your thoughts!

Hilaire said...

I've discovered the Power of the Timer recently. Been using 45 minute chunks, in which I write completely distraction-free - then take breaks, after. It works like a charm. Maybe it would help yo uget back into it? Even a timed, 20-30-minute freewrite might get your writing brain back into the issues...

I have been ruined by the Olympics, too. I am totally sleep deprived. I hear you!

squadratomagico said...

If you already know what the piece should say, then you should just do it in short spurts: a paragraph here, a page there. Once you get eased into it that way, you may find that you get inspired and want to work on it for longer blocks of time.

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Very very small chunks. 10or 15 minutes, and then a reward. This convinces your brain that this is an easy fun project, and then you can lengthen the time.