I’m writing again, I’m actually writing! Not here in royby.com but I’m writing academically again and what a great feeling it is to get over whatever block has been in my head for such a long time. For months now I’ve been the master of procrastination, any little thing that I could do to delay the process I was doing. This included washing and ironing, vacuuming and grocery shopping, how very unlike me!
The problem is that it has been a long time since I wrote in an academic fashion and it’s been a real struggle to wrap my brain back around it. Of course it’s not the writing itself that is the problem, it’s the teasing out of the question, it’s following up leads and making every piece of information that you use somehow dovetail into what is going to be a coherent article when finished.
Writing forces you to face the issue head on, to work out what the questions really are and how you are going to research them. I have mountains of previous literature, 4 months of reading saw to that, but it’s the mountain of material that in itself is so daunting. Daunting to the point that when I really forced myself to sit down and get to work I was so stressed that I could hardly breathe. Seriously, I struggled to get my breath to the point where it exhausted me.
But I can feel that I am over that hurdle now, the words are starting to come back to me and flow on to the digital paper on my screen. The ideas are beginning to fit together in my head, there is some sense coming from the mad scrambled mess of data. But most of all I think that I have found the “direction” that I am after. At least there are now a couple of new directions that have materialised that actually excite me. I know when I am “back in the groove” so to speak when I wake up of a morning and can’t wait to leap onto my laptop because there are ideas spilling out of my ears. It really is a great feeling.
That’s not to say that from here it will all be plain sailing. Far from it. When I write I tend to write down what is inside my head, just let it spill out through the keyboard and return later to re-arrange it into something that makes sense and delete all the extraneous matter. Then when I get it to a point that looks half way OK I like to leave it alone for at least one week before I come back to read it again and find all the faults that were not obvious before.
Some people might wonder at how I can be so excited about such a seemingly mundane thing as being able to write again. But for those of you who have been in my position I bet that you know exactly what I’m talking about.
My problem right now is that I must take a break over the Christmas – New Year period and spend time with my family, and I’m looking forward to that immensely. However, when I am in a writing mode I become completely anti-social because I just don’t have the space in my head to think about anything else. (Who said men can’t multi-task??)
I’m sure that a short break for Christmas is not going to put me back into the wilderness again though so I’ll enjoy the time with my father, children and grandson and get back to writing in the new year.