html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: This is where you come in...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

This is where you come in...

I'm trying to work on a chapter of my report for my boss on Los Osos, only, like, I keep not doing it. Which is fully lame, because I wake up thinking about what I need to write next, and I have the position I'm going to take, the structure, the quotes that support it, all of it all laid out in my brain. But then, I keep... not doing it. It seems I need encouragement. It is also lame that I need encouragement here, since I set up a whole other blog to get encouragement for exactly this. But I haven't posted there in months and now I am too embarrassed to return to there without some good shit. I even have some good shit written, but then I need a more complete version to excuse all those months of abandonment. I don't even want to relay the snippets of interesting things that are happening, because, like, I owe you more. And I don't want to give you expectations, given that I didn't live up to them last time.

So, like, I need encouragement. I don't need scolding; I scold myself all the time. It is like being back in grad school, the way I get mad at myself for every evening I don't work on it, and every morning I don't get up at six and spend two hours on it before work. Awesome. I am doomed to relive grad school in my heart forever.

So here's the deal. I am going to leave the internets and go write that chapter for a while. I'll check back in, and you will have said sweet, supportive things, OK? Thanks in advance. Y'all rock.

(Also, don't go over the top and get all gushy. And you have to pretend that it is authentic; with all the potential responses in the world, you just happened to choose encouragement today. And you can't make me feel guilty for not posting on the other blog for months, even though you were interested and disappointed I dropped it. It takes a little finesse, but someone with your skills can totally pull it off.)

19 Comments:

Blogger Capella said...

You absolutely do this. In fact, by the time you come back all the encouragement in the world is going to be moot because you will have a totally rocking chapter written and you will be excited to tell us about it, and you will not want to hear about how you are such an amazing storyteller, and such an impassioned advocate, and you are totally the person to write this. But in case you are still in the mood for it, I will just remind you that you are Our Megan, Kicker of Asses and Tae Kwon Do Queen, Doer of Scary Things and Banisher of Sad Thoughts and Baker of Delightful Foods and the example men use when they are talking about women who are too perfect to exist, and you are going to do this and it is going to rock.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

I'll bet that the slick bear rescue by Cal Trans will inspire you to be all you can be w/r/t your employment, proving once more that public employees are to be admired.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope you get too caught up in the brilliance of the sentences you just put together that you don't want to check in here, you just want to keep writing.

It feels to good to make progress! Why am I on my blog! I love writing!

There's always the "Wow, that little block of time wasn't so bad! Now off to do somethign else, then fit in another Small Block of Time."

Avoid big chunks of working. See how easy a little bit was?

2:28 PM  
Blogger susan said...

Yeah! Way to go, Megan! Your initiative is, in turn, helping to inspire me to actually do some more writing on my master's thesis, instead of just looking at it and sighing. So thanks for that!

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do a lot of this same stuff. Forever putting off the next interaction until I can excessively impress the audience. To be honest though, it's not ever gotten me anywhere, and my parents used to constantly object to that strategy. In fact, maybe that's not how books really get done (this is about your book, right?). I postulate that books are about getting the volume, so that eventually you can edit it into a masterpiece. You don't have to stop at book-length, if you think it's crap. You just have to finish the second half and then edit it.

More confidently, I can say this: I have read my fair share of lifestyle blogs, and over and over, the advice comes to start small. Commit to running 2 miles per week, it says. Add one exercise per month before bed. If you go whole hog, you'll never keep it up.

So, post what you got, or finish up a half piece. Edit it later, even. Before you know it, you'll be getting excited about it again, and remember all the good ways it made you feel. And riding the wave is the real trick.

-AS

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Ennis said...

We are totally interested. And I don't care that you started before. That's what happens with hard projects, and it's sunk costs. I want to hear what you have to say, and I care only about what you do going forward.

Tell us something cool. Not something perfect, or prodigious, but something that you enjoyed. That's what I want. You thought it was really neat, huh? Well, you wanna tell me about it?

3:26 PM  
Blogger jens said...

Wow, this is not really my bag, I'm much better at scolding - but you're right, you do WAY too much of that yourself.

I think the trick is to ANTICIPATE the great stuff you are going to write, take a little credit for it already, and then -- you're COMMITTED, and you are SO going to make it come true.

People need to hear about this, and who ELSE is up to the task?

4:28 PM  
Anonymous YK said...

Hope you're having a productive afternoon. You'll feel better soon.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Megan:

You can do it. The fact that you've left us, the internets, means that you're halfway there. Best of luck, though you won't need it. -K.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU'RE TELLING ME I HAVEN'T MISSED ANYTHING ON YOUR "working diligently" BLOG?!? I was feeling left out and sad that I was missing all the "action" (I was lazy and only entered as a guest - that only worked for a month. Send me that link again!) I'm super excited to get back into your Osos project. Yay!
TChris

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really, after reading capella's comment, much less the rest, I don't want to say anything knowing it won't be as brilliantly on point But it would be wrong to stay silent.

Of course you can do this, what's your current tagline say? You just need to show up! All of us feel that you have a voice worth hearing. Otherwise we wouldn't show up, even to lurk.

Lots of good advice already offered. Break it into small chunks, get it down, then edit it down... I'm quite familiar with the seeking of perfection leading to inaction trick, but you are so much better than that. "The Great is the enemy of the Good"
(Angelo Gaja, who knows something about great)

Compared to going to TKD to suffer for something you don't enjoy, this is nothing.

BTW, I didn't ask for the link for the other blog, because I seldom comment because the conversation has moved on between time zones and work time. Also, I was afraid I wouldn't be able give it the attention it deserves. None the lessI am totally psyched to see the result and to throw money at it. Imitation is a poor second as a form of flattery

(If this is too gushy, you'll have to get over it this once)

-=richard=-

7:34 PM  
Anonymous scottb said...

And, of course, knowing what you are going to say is all part of the process. So, don't worry that you didn't start as soon as those cool thoughts came to mind. There's always a certain, uh, gestation period before those thoughts are ready to hit paper. But once you start, it will be awesome!!

8:29 PM  
Blogger bec said...

you rock. when you do this shit, we'll all be impressed, but we'll also be smug, because we already knew that you're awesome.

also: there's a feeling I get right after breaking through the procrastination, when things start moving almost of their own accord. I hope you get it too, because it's as good as pie or bicycling. or pie AND bicycling.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous D said...

it's genius! asking for help? is the very thing that allows you to kick yourself in the pants, because you wont let us down...

also?
the whole journey of a thousand miles proverb. it's so easy to get bogged by the whole journey, counting all that needs done, so much that you never begin. I will presume that you have taken step one, and two and more. keep going. if it helps think of old stop motion animation and putting one foot in front of the other.

you can tell yourself everything, and even believe it... but the word of a frined is more than that. it is their belief in you.

looks like you have plenty of people known and unknown who believe, and all you have to do is listen. ;)

2:14 AM  
Anonymous emir said...

I know that right now you are working on your chapter, and it's great. Because everything you wrote before about Los Osos both was interesting and illuminated a complex situation. You'll do such a good job, people are looking forward to reading it.

Also I meant to say the other day that I hope Princess is well soon.

3:02 AM  
Anonymous Thelonious_Nick said...

I think you've chosen a really clever strategy. By not writing when you really wanted to, you are now incredibly hungry to start filling up that white screen with beautiful, informative words.

Keeping the strategy in mind, don't write yourself all out in one sitting. End each writing session before you've reached a stopping point, so the next day you'll be just hungry.

This should be easy since you have so much to say and you express yourself so well.

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm not privy to the secret Los Osos blog, but I'm really looking forward to reading more about all the doings in Los Osos.

I know it's hard work, but I look forward to the result.

A4

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Megan,
I am a random grad student at Stanford who's never met you and almost surely never will. But I enjoy reading your blog, so thanks for writing it.

That's it.

9:27 AM  
Blogger bobvis said...

too embarrassed to return to there without some good shit.

You've already identified your problem! Go post some really bad shit just to show that you can do it. Maybe that will grease the gears.

Or do what I did and start a procrastination log on your blog. :) Knowing the problem let's you fix it.

10:26 AM  

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