….with the speed of molasses

I think my brain has passed the point of frantic worry and has plummeted all the way down to the depths of despair. Somewhere along the way, it turned into cottage cheese. Or perhaps swiss cheese. Whichever kind of cheese, it is definitely no longer working the way it used to….

You see, once upon a time I was a decent writer. I had a “process” (at least, that’s what I called it. My husband thinks it was more more accurately described as: “Loose Baggy Monster has gone berserk because she has to write a paper.” I must say, I prefer my label overall). I would sit down roughly 48 to 24 hours before a paper was due (although there have been plenty of times when I tempted fate and gave myself a measly 2 hours) and I would drink endless cups of coffee, working myself up into something like a trance, and in this state I would type like a maniac all through the night. I would print off my paper sometime around 5 in the morning, have my groggy husband read it over (perhaps not the best proof-reading strategy) and go to class to turn it in. And it always worked.

Until now. Now, I slave away for days, typing and re-typing the same six pages over and over and over…. And in the end, it still doesn’t work. The only noteworthy result is a precipitous decline in my verbal ability. I can no longer think in complete sentences or follow along when someone else is speaking. My conversations become peppered with words like “epistemological” and “fractionated” until my tongue is tied in knots and people stare at me like I’ve lost my mind. My husband warns me to be patient, and urges me to look at this reclamation of my writing skill as something akin to physical rehabilitation after an injury. I say: where are the brain-eating zombies when you need ’em? At least then I’d have an excuse!

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Thermochronic on May 7, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    This husband of yours sounds like a modern day prophet. I think the physical analogy is direct and makes perfect sense, recovery from anything takes time and is slow. That’s OK, think of how great Johnny Cash was in his youth, how much trouble he had, and then how much greater he became after the trials and tribulations! Your American Recordings is still waiting to be written!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Clair on May 7, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    So what thermochronic is saying is that you should become a speed freak and an alcoholic. I’d suggest ice cream or donughts instead. They’re cheaper, easier to access, sure to fuel you with enough sugar to get started, but without all those pesky withdrawal side effects and the threats to your health and relationships.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Harleyman on May 7, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    Even though your brain is turned to oatmeal….Just revert back to your chidhood and remember your vocabulary. Does the word Epi tome’ have any meaning…..

    Reply

  4. Posted by Pour of Tor on May 31, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Alas, the same EXACT thing happened to my writing “process” in graduate school. My papers used to be (I thought) last-minute flurries of adrenaline-fueled genius, but ever since starting in on my dissertation writing has become a lot more … labored.

    Reply

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