I made a claim in one of my blog posts before that I am the queen of procrastination. Now, a lot of people say that they are the worst procrastinator, but here is how bad I have it: in the midst of writing my re-purposing sketch draft, rough draft, this blog post, and reading copious amounts of academic writing, I stopped doing everything to calculate how many papers I have written so far in my college career. The answer is 45. I have written 45 full-blown papers; this is excluding blog posts, Ctools forums posts, or other writing assignments. That means that I have not once, not twice, but on 45 different occasions waited until the night before a paper was due to start writing it (but let’s be honest, it’s more like the morning of).
Why must I do this to myself? You would think that at some point I would have the conversation with myself saying, “Hey Louise, you know you really aren’t doing anything this weekend, maybe you should do some work?” to which I should reply to myself, “Hey self, that’s a phenomenal idea and I am going to do that so I’m not stressed out!”
But then there are these things called Netflix and sleeping that suck me in and hinder me from being productive. While I wish that I were the type of person who could sit down a week before an assignment is due and crank it out, I’m also kind of at peace with my procrastination. And I mean, I only went home for spring break to Grand Rapids, but did I even touch an assignment? No way, man. I sure told myself I would, but I guess I live my academic life by the motto “there is always tomorrow,” which works well until you run out of “tomorrows.”
I honestly am okay with my terrible habits; I’m not looking for sympathy because I knowingly do this to myself every time there is a project to be done or a paper to be written. I actually take great pride in what I am able to pull off. To explain, here is a Facebook status from this past December:
While I might sound a little arrogant in this post, I was more amazed at the kind of dark magic that must have been pulsing through my veins during that all-nighter. But it just leaves me asking myself again, why do I do this? I can literally only write when I have a severe time crunch.
I don’t know if other people can relate, but to me, I only have good ideas when I don’t have the time to over think things. I suppose when I write I take the “go big or go home” mentality, and when you only have a couple hours to write a paper, you pull out all the stops. I also think that by having this pressure, I don’t write as stiffly. If I think about something too much when I’m writing, I really lose my voice and personality.
Also, I cannot tell a lie, writing a paper under pressure is sooooo much more fun than having weeks to do it. If there are any How I Met Your Mother Fans out there, I always say “Challenge Accepted” to my teachers who warn, “don’t wait until the night before to start this assignment.” And when I turn that bad boy in after an all-nighter filled with self-loathing, I feel invincible, and like I want to take a nap.
What I’m trying to say is that I do a poor job of being a writer. This whole drafting thing— it’s not really my style, but that’s probably because I never give myself enough time to write a draft if it isn’t required of me. Maybe my writing habits will change when I get older and wiser. And when I say “maybe” I actually mean that there is absolutely no chance that I will ever break the chain of procrastination. At least I’m realistic.