Self-complacency

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I am writing this because right now I feel smug. Too smug for my liking. And this has to change!

Over the past few weeks my writing has gone through the roof, which is great, after overcoming a bit of wussy writing crisis. False alarm overall, and once I took off the breaks form my chapter bike, I was zooming off into the wild at high speed. Last week I posted over 3,500 words at a writing rate of 709 per day, and gave my chapter a final shake. My notes on Friday the following:

1. Do one last comparison of these two short stories (for Monday)

2. Write conclusions (on Tuesday)

3. Edit like there is no tomorrow (Wed-Fri)

…all said with the outlook of providing my supervisors with a second first draft and they can see where I am going with this. This was agreed like that – the attempt is not to have a perfect chapter, but a chapter that can be easily modified if required (which makes for easier writing) after having reached the half way point of my PhD time a few months ago. I have been writing this for far too long, so it needed that word count burst. I was radiant on Friday afternoon.

It’s Tuesday, and although I have attempted to write in the same fashion as last week, I know I can’t. And it’s not that I can’t because the rate I was posting last week was unsustainable for long periods of time, no. I can’t write because I feel smug. Sitting 25 words away from the 18,000 barrier, I know the chapter is coming to an end. 80% of the work is done. But this last 20% is going to take just as much as the previous 60%. I am dreading the editing, so the slower I write, the longer it will take for me to have to go into editing – but that is just a fallacy. In the meantime, and knowing myself (knowing I will get slower and more smug as the writing progresses) I have taken additional responsibilities this week that are going to ensure I get very little time to actually focus on the writing – meaning that every minute on the chair should count double! Oh well.

Yesterday I found myself wasting time in a productive manner, self-sabotaging myself – I even went as far as to rearrange the entire living room because it seemed I would do more work if I fengshuisize it. I was feeling particularly smug because during the day I managed to post 1,300 words – and hence I didn’t feel bad that I was wasting time deliberately. However, I had the chance (a good chance) to finish point 1 of what I was aiming to do and possibly start typing up some conclusions (that should not go too much over 1,000 words) and I missed it – because I was feeling smug.

It’s so hard (and boring) to edit once you know you have pretty much written as much as you needed to. The very little appeal that editing has combined with my smugness and it might take the best of my weekend work to get this chapter out of the way. But I need to, otherwise I will not be able to get on with more exciting (and way scarier things). And I really cannot afford that.

Right, I’m gonna go back to work and sit my bum on a chair until this gets done. And wipe that smug smirk off my face.

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