Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My girlfriend, my superego

The other day GF expressed to me her concern about my summer of work. She said, “I’m just worried that you’re going to spend all your time blogging and you won’t get any work done.” Oh my. I told her I wasn’t worried, and that if I’m not, she shouldn’t be.

The funny thing is, I think part of why I signed on to this whole blogging deal was because I was reading the blogs of very productive academics. I could feel their (your) productivity, and gain a picture of my own life as an organized and industrious writer. I need that; after all, this is my first summer post-PhD, and I am finding, as they always say, that the real pressure has just begun. I’ve had a tendency to procrastinate in the past, though I got through the dissertation quickly. All of you out there with plans and schedules inspire me to stay on track – especially Flavia, with the Plan that she just posted today. In fact, I’ve had a very productive couple of days, though I’ve been so immersed in the errands required to re-orient myself in Home City, and mundane work-related tasks like final grading, that I haven’t been able to write yet. But the writing/research will start tomorrow, and I’m excited in a way I wasn’t before I started blogging. Go figure.

Bizarre as it may seem, y’all are the ones who, without even knowing it, are going to help me meet my self-imposed deadlines this summer: By the time I leave for five days in New York on July 6, expand and submit for publication an article I hold dear, and finish planning and writing syllabi for my fall courses - and send off the reprotexts. By Labour Day, finish another article and decide whether to turn dissertation into manuscript or move on to a fun new book project I have in mind, fun being more appealing…Having written that here, to my smattering of readers, will help me make that real. (And I think you won’t be surprised to know that my overly anxious nature means I always hold myself to deadlines, when I have the guts to set them.)


Flavia said...

Yes: you WILL meet those deadlines, or all of us out here will give you the bloggy smackdown!

(Just trying to be a good auxillary superego...)

Sfrajett said...

Ha! I love it when blogging gets bossy! I find that the more I write, the more I write. If you are this way, blogging will be like a cooldown after a workout (or a warmup, if you promise not to delay getting to the work). On an added note, speaking from experience as a person who hung on to a dissertation project too long, I say if you already feel excited to do a new project, go for it! Seize the day. You'll feel energized to finish it because you'll want to be learning the new things you are teaching yourself.

MaggieMay said...

Hilaire, I started blogging for the same reason! I was doing research/writing, and started reading academic blogs, and was fascinated by all the good folks (like Flavia, and PowerProf) who talked about their writing process. It was and is and inspiration to me, and I've learned some new "productivity tricks" along the way.

Hilaire said...

Thanks, everyone. See what I mean? Even having you guys read that helps me stay on track.

And Sfragett: your advice about the dissertation is *very* well-taken; you put that very nicely.

MaggieMay, I'm glad to hear that increading productivity has worked for someone who's been at this for a while. I can't wait to find new productivity tricks!