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Consummate Craft

I’ve had ten weeks to work on this paper.  And I’ve worked on it for most of the ten weeks.  Research, draft, edit, repeat.

And now, with 48 hours until it is due, I’m scratching it all and starting over.

I don’t like what I have.  It’s not cohesive.  It’s shifty in focus.  The thesis is broad.

My conclusion: Ah, trash it.  Start over.

There’s a cost to starting early and working ahead of time – for me anyway.  The product is almost always trashed at the last minute.

(Ask my college roommates; this is not a new trend for me.)

I evoke my best product when I no longer have enough time.

So that’s where we are, folks.  The consummate craft of procrastination.

If you want to call it that.

I call it capitalizing on my strengths: working under pressure.

So, if you need me, I’ll be typing until midnight on Thursday.  Or until my fingers fall off and I may therefore ask for a deadline extension.

Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. I hear you on this one BIGTIME! I remember when I was asked to write the eulogy to grace the cover of my grandmother’s funeral notice. I had a deadline. It was painful. The words had to be pulled out of no-where. They didn’t fit together. They didn’t convey what I wanted to say. I was yelling at my brother trying to help me! Misery.
    The piece had to be submitted. (All the family loved it, but I knew deep inside, it just wasn’t “it”)
    The morning of her funeral, I got up early to write MY own personal thoughts and feelings. Everything flowed. I knew what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. Yes. Beautiful. It worked for me. I ended up reading it at the service, wishing that was the written text for all to read.
    Why is it that sometimes it all fits and others it’s a disaster?
    I applaud your “tongue-in-cheek” idea to ask for an extension!
    Happy deadline writing!

  2. Well I just want you to know that I work the best under pressure as well. I always have my best work completed just before the deadline. Keep crafting your procrastination.

    Crystal Uhl

  3. My best (and highest graded papers) from graduate school were completed at 5 a.m. on the day they were due. Tears were spilled on several of them. In all other areas of my life, I plan ahead and mark things off of that treasured to-do list as quickly as possible. When it comes to writing, I just can’t make it flow early. 🙂 Good luck!

  4. and with that, you give this procrastinating pressure writer a dangerous hope….

  5. The first draft is so you can figure out what’s strong, what isn’t. I read a fiction writer somewhere say he only saves 10% of everything he writes. I think I’m like that (with fiction). I need 10 drafts before I get to the good stuff. Frustrating but… it’s better than never having written.

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