Challenge Blog (A cry for help!) #3

I have been up since 5 AM working on asylum briefs for unaccompanied minors in Michigan. I just got an influx of work last night and, because there are lives on the line, feel responsible to get the work done as quick as possible.

My problem isn’t procrastination—at least not all the way. My problem is that I do not feel the sense of urgency that I need to, in order to make my project what I really want it to be. It isn’t for lack of trying, either. I always want to be doing my capstone project, but I am paralyzed by how I want it to be.

Simply, when I have free time that I am too tired to do much, I do my other work instead of the capstone. I don’t want to use my “tired headspace” to write something important to me (I’ll save that for my political science classes!). But because I keep waiting for the perfect time—when I feel confident, inspired, and most importantly, healthy—I don’t feel the urgency to start.

I am not ignorant of the idea of a “shitty” first draft. In fact, most writing classes almost demand this of students. But when I read my shitty first drafts back, my ideas same chaotic and I spend more time figuring out what I really meant to say instead of moving forward with the project.

I don’t think that this problem exists independently of other motivation problems, but it has a unique paradox contained within it. One technique I am going to try going forward is to make more mini-projects that can be accomplished with limited brain space. I am also thinking that my problem is less with planning than it is with execution—so maybe I can plan in a worse headspace enough that the execution will be smoother.

Let me know if you guys have any other suggestions! Looking forward to seeing everyone’s projects!

One thought to “Challenge Blog (A cry for help!) #3”

  1. Hi Nicole,
    I’m struggling with the same thing! I think the problem lies in the importance of this project, or at least the importance of how it is portrayed. In all of my other classes that involve writing, I normally make a shitty first draft and then make a few changes and turn in a shitty final draft. And I think that’s because there is nothing tied to it – what do I care if I wrote a crappy paper about a topic that I don’t have a lot of interest in? But with this project it’s more than that. I do care if I write a crappy paper about a topic I do have a lot of interest in.

    I don’t have many suggestions to combat this (because if I did I wouldn’t be having the same problem), but I’m happy to share if I find anything that works down the road of the project. We’re in the ending stages, but hopefully the writer’s block/procrastination/whatever you want to call it goes away soon – we have work to do!

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