Thursday, July 28, 2005

Day 10: A Delicate Balance

My head was just not in the game today. See Stewgad's recent post for an excellent summary of how my brain has been responding in the past few days. Either I'm an untrained puppy, or I celebrated a bit too much last night with some folks who had just taken the bar exam. In either case, today was better spent on errands (Whole Paycheck Foods), cleaning chores, and exercising. In the interest of making progress, however, I did revise one sticky paragraph.

Which got me to thinking that, yeah, I've revised one more paragraph than the day before. So that's good. Progress is good. But at the current pace, I'll still be working on this damn thing when I'm retired! So that's not good. My question is: how do you find the delicate balance between holding your own feet to the fire vs. not being too hard on yourself? On the one hand, you shouldn't hold yourself to unachievable standards or goals, nor should you beat yourself up if you fail to meet a daily or weekly or monthly goal. Life happens. But on the other hand, if I don't put some pressure on myself, who will?? At some point, I simply have to get a lot of work done, and the only person who is going to make that happen is me.

So that is what I am pondering today. Tomorrow I hope to make more progress than one measly paragraph. My husband and I are going out of town in a week to visit friends and celebrate our anniversary (9 years! And no, I wasn't a child bride, but sometimes it feels like I must have been) so I hope to have a good draft before we leave town. Onward and upward...


At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some thoughts on being ABD from a different (former) history grad student. This person seemed to lean a little far to the masochistic side for my taste.

Must say, I personally can't imagine writing 12 hours a day. When I work 12+ hours a day, it's cause I'm doing all sorts of different things, or wrestling with a concept/problem I don't understand. (then I can get a bit obsessive, but I still force myself to take breaks and talk to others).

How hard to be on yourself? As hard as you need to be to get done by the date you want to be done by. You know you don't want to keep dragging this on indefinitely. I don't think a 1 paragraph day right now is a crisis - so don't worry about it.

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