Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Venting as an attempt to clear my head

Argh. I'm trying to get working, but my brain's so foggy. It's been this way for ages, or so it feels. I know I'm stuck, along with everyone else, in some kind of "winter blues" or something. I know even the most diligent people I know are having a hard time making themselves work. But this isn't an option!

I'm now on the second page (of 100) of my thesis. And the ideas are flowing like taffy, even after I wrote 10 pages of detailed outline. Why is it so hard to form coherent sentences, when I try to explain what I'm attempting to do with my paper.

It's time for me to pull out all the stops and play all the psychological tricks on myself that I do when I'm writer's blocked. I'm set up at my desk now: no more sitting on the couch in the living room. Being out with people distracts me even more. I have a giant glass of water beside me, which will probably be one of several tonight. I just ate an orange (some natural sugars, and hopefully energy). I have Chopin's Nocturnes playing in the background, to block out other sounds. (It tried some French music before, but even that was too distracting. Sad, because I love Padam.) If I'm still having trouble, in a while I'll take a shower to clear out my head, and then maybe I'll wear something silly (maybe I'll dress up -- sometimes wearing something special helps me, somehow. I wore lipstick the whole time I was writing my Honour's Paper.) Next step: candles.

Speaking as a TA, if you're ever having trouble with writer's block, playing tricks on yourself really works. Shake things up. Change your scenery, or your situation somehow. Do whatever it takes to snap you into a more creative place. My friends and I, back in our undergrad days, used to get pretty silly with it, but it worked! One of my best friends used to write all of her papers wearing an orange poncho and pearls. Her sister used to always wear a Santa hat. Somehow, something like that makes you feel like "And now I am working, and so everything else has to shut off." Doing all of your work at home is hard, because then everyone thinks, "Well, she's at home, which means she's available to do housework/to babysit/to talk on the phone/to drive me somewhere/to hang out." Sometimes that means that you have to get out of the house to work. Or, if you're at home, it helps either to set "office hours" (sometimes I shut off the phone), or (in extreme cases, such as if you're me) just to work when no one else is up (ie. at night). Find what works, regardless of how silly it is. And then go with it. (Everyone's different.) Also, sometimes finding someone to act as a sounding-board also helps.

But now I digress. I guess this has been Writing Tips With the Procrastination Queen, from the one who should know way better, considering how many hundreds of students' papers she's now marked, not to mention how many essays she's written herself.

I am amused by: Esperanto


arimich <> said...

Where on earth did you find out about esperanto? Or is this something I should already know about and somehow missed? Anyway, it is highly amusing. Have a good day! *shin kick!*

Chris Reed said...

Ahh good old Esperanto. I am actually surprised that you haven't heard of it Ariann. During the time that it was invented a number of other languages were being invented. I believe the idea was to come up with a common tongue that is neutral to everyone and would not carry national baggage with it. (Kind of a lets all be friends and live in peace kind of thing) There was also a language that was invented that was based soley on singing notes. It was appently very beautiful and easy to learn but it also was doomed by the vast number of tone deaf people including myself. Well. I have to get back to work but it was great chatting. Bye for now.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Ari, you forget that I'm a historian! The Voice of Women were ALL OVER Esperanto, during the period that I researched for my Honour's Paper. It was one of their projects to bring about world peace: Learn Esperanto. (These days, while there are societies for the learning of it, etc., Esperanto doesn't have the wide-spread credibility it had in, say, the 1960s. As Ky the Linguist points out, even the name of it shows how it's a little too Latin to be from an international and neutral language.)

This has been your friendly neighbourhood nerd, answering to support her (also nerdy) fiance's answer.

Anonymous said...

Dude, you are prolific with the blogging.
With all the bad weather, pray that we will still be able to go to Calgary this weekend.

Haruo said...

Well, I made $2500 in the past three weeks because I am fluent in Esperanto, so I don't know if "amused" is the word.

celebrating the centennial of the
Seattle Esperanto Society