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?
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 “Surviving Finals Week: Keeping Focused, and Letting Loose”