fear and loathing...and hope?
I've procrastinated to the point of pain.
I was really pinched by this PFF class during the semester, so drafting my second chapter about literacy primers was constantly crowded out. And I have always loved fresh starts and new beginnings, to the point that if I haven't started off strong, I wait for something to mark a fresh start to try again. And during the waiting time nothing happens.
So, I have very little to show for the spring semester. And now my chapter is due on Monday, June 4. I am submitting it to the Critical Perspectives in Hmong Studies conference/workshop, where the draft will be read by each of the other nine participants from around the country, and where there will be an hour of discussion dedicated to my piece. That is a really great opportunity, but I'm a little bit concerned that I won't have something substantial or polished or even complete. That concerns me for several reasons. 1) how embarrassing will this be, among my highly respected peers and one of the most important groups of scholars working in Hmong studies? 2) will I waste the exceptional opportunity for careful and expert feedback because my chapter is not developed far enough to benefit from their input? 3) have I put myself even further behind in trying to get this dissertation written? I only have a half-draft from the fall semester. When do I expect to write this thing? Do I think it is just going to magically happen?
I had wanted to use the three weeks after the semester ended to get all of this work done—and I think it would have easily been possible with that much time—but I took a really long time grading in the first week, and the I had a bunch of random other stuff that I was overdue on doing last week. I have really struggled to sit down and work. I started hitting this slump in week 13 of the semester, and I haven't recovered yet.
I'm very frustrated with myself. And I'm afraid of failure. And it's already Tuesday (I conveniently overlooked Monday's holiday as reducing how much time I would have to work on research and writing). But confessing all of this stuff here actually helps to calm me down. It's a good catharsis. And maybe I feel a little bit bolstered that I can sit down and crank out what I need over the next week. And maybe what I produce won't suck too bad.
One can only hope. And work.