Writing without deadlines

One of the positives of my grad school experience was that I always had (almost too much) advice on the pitfalls ahead and strategies for coming out nearly-unscathed.

I had lots of advice about the job market. Lots of advice about the dissertation. Lots of advice about prelims, about coursework.

The same has held true for finding a rhythm for working as a faculty member. Because I too often balked at the always-on-point advice handed to me about all of those grad school milestones like the emotional roller coaster of the job market, I’m taking one piece of advice seriously: making myself meet deadlines.

It’s a little like budgeting. If a budget is sometimes uncomfortable, that’s fine, because the budget has been met and life goes on. The bills got paid. Some money gets saved. Despite my very temporary discomfort, those positive and productive things happened.

So in that same spirit, I’m setting deadlines to be met. Some are small: read this book; respond to that piece of writing; look at that journal issue. Some are small but feel big like start writing that paragraph today (!!!). But they’re not. They’re small. It’s just another paragraph and just another start.

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