graduate school · personal · Writing

writing imbalance

I find it difficult to write more than one thing at a time. This is a bit frustrating, because I didn’t seem to have this problem when I was an undergrad, or even a master’s student. I could switch back and forth between projects, and not get lost in the shuffle. But now, it seems so much more complicated, so much more difficult to change my framework, to shift back and forth.

I think part of that is that I don’t want to duplicate work that I’m trying to develop in my qualifying paper or my dissertation here on the blog; and even though my writer’s block has gone away, I still worry that it’s building itself back up again.

I’m not sure if it’s even, that, though. I don’t actually think my writer’s block will come back. I’ve never bought into that needing to have inspiration to produce writing–I’ve definitely produced enough of it that lacked any inspiration at all. It’s easier, certainly, when one is inspired. It might even be better, when one is inspired. But it can be done with or without inspiration. The writer’s block I was dealing with came from a different place entirely. It came partly from my anxiety and depression issues, of course, and the fact that those issues were tied up quite a bit with graduate school, diminished feelings of self-worth, etc. But rather than writer’s block, I think in some ways the “block” was just the way that my avoidance was manifesting itself.

Now whenever I sit down to write anything, like this blog, or e-mails, or in my journal, or Facebook posts, I wonder if I’m doing this kind of writing to avoid that kind of writing– that kind being my qualifying paper and my dissertation. So it’s become sort of an imbalanced balancing act. I know the weight needs to be distributed in a certain way, or I’ll topple. It’s quite precarious, actually, since most of the weight really needs to be placed on the qualifying paper and the dissertation.

The nice thing, though, is that instead of producing anxiety and panic, this balancing act is actually just bringing out the planner in me. I’m making to-do lists again (I’m a chronic list maker, just part of my character, but for a stretch I stopped making lists; not even post-it notes could entice me). Instead of feeling defeated and avoiding, I’m feeling energized and I’m planning.

So maybe this imbalance is finally getting into some sort of balance–swaying far enough to risk toppling, but swinging back the other way, just in time.

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