"The angel doesn't sit on your shoulder unless the pencil's in your hand."
I'm knee-deep in writing a paper for my public health class (my LAST class for my degree. Woohoo! Let's not talk about all the writing that is still ahead of me...).
- I get the assignment. Or the idea.
- I start hating the assignment/idea but my brain starts mulling.
- I think about it. When I'm making beds, when I'm loading the dishwasher, when I'm in the car, little ideas are floating to the top of my mind. But it counts as time working on the paper (I tell myself)! (If it's a lit review, I start reading articles and taking notes.)
- I start jotting down random ideas. I am still terrified of actually writing but tell myself to just write whatever ideas have surfaced. There, there, little writing phobia.
- I start organizing the randomness into a skeleton outline. Again, much soothing of anxiety and telling myself it's no big deal, just writing an outline here.
- More thinking. I have to walk away several times (sometimes you just have to give in to the adult onset ADD) and come back and type a few more lines.
- Finally I start writing little snippets into the outline. Again, I am really sneaking up on myself. The idea is to get everything to the stage where the writing is all that's left: the ideas, order, and structure are already done! It might look like procrastination but it's really all just my necessary prep work.
- NOW I'm truly writing the paper, linking the snippets and fleshing out thought. Inevitably I start getting excited and it starts feeling easier as the paper comes together. (Like childbirth, I'll forget all the pain and effort of the beginning once I get a glimpse of the final product.) THEN I love writing.