Tag Archives: procrastination

Surviving Finals Week: Keeping Focused, and Letting Loose

The writing process is a strange thing. What do you think of when you hear “the writing process?”

Maybe something like Prewriting -> Writing -> Revision?  How about First draft -> Revision -> Final draft? Or maybe you think about it in terms of steps. Like, you do research, then outlining, then writing, then adding citations?

These are all fine. The important thing is knowing what kind of process works for you. But equally important, and rarely considered, are the parts of the writing process that actually have nothing to do with you writing something. Have you ever been stumped on a project or idea of some kind, and then BAM! An idea comes to you at the most random time? Like, just before you go to bed, or while you’re out with friends, or upon your first mouthful of mac and cheese?

OmNomN… I just thought of something AMAZING!

That’s because your brain never really shuts off from the things you need it to do. The temptation, especially as finals week approaches, is to force yourself to sit down and make work come out of you. But sometimes, just plain and simply, you just cannot focus. For whatever reason, it’s the wrong time to be doing this. Forcing yourself to work late into the night might seem like you’re being diligent, but it might not actually help you get things done.

Sometimes, you have to know when to take some time. If you’re sitting there, staring at a blank screen, and nothing is coming out of your head, staring at it longer probably won’t help. What might help is giving yourself a break. Play a game. Call a friend. Get some food. Chill on Facebook. Watch an episode or two of Breaking Bad. Whatever you want. Continue reading

The Habit of Writing in 750 Words

I’ve noticed a lot of people say they hate writing when they come to The Writing Center. That may be true, or it may be that they hate writing papers in a particular format and then having them graded. But writing for fun, for yourself? That’s a different issue entirely, and for anyone willing to see if they actually enjoy writing, 750words.com is a great place to try it out. It’s meant to get you into the habit of writing as just a way to express your ideas. Nobody’s going to grade it, or judge it, or say it’s stupid or needs citation. You just type out what you think, and you get points for it. It’s not scary, and maybe it’ll make writing that next paper a little less scary, too.