Tuesday, May 08, 2007

um, argh?

I'm sitting here trying to be diligent and get at least half of an unedited version of my 20 page research paper detailing the effects of popular Brazilian samba on racial attitudes and culture in Rio de Janeiro (a work I have convincingly titled "The Colonization of Samba: Identity, racism, and radio in 20th century Rio de Janeiro"), but right here around the middle of page five I find myself extremely distracted and highly in need of sitting around a coffee shop shooting the shit with friends.

I feel this way about writing papers: I love doing the research. I love reading up on the topic, finding ideas that justify my own, learning new and useful information. I love sitting down to write and having it flow, I love getting up on my soapbox and proving the shit out of my salient points. But! I hate. I hate citing shit, making sure I credit everything, having to go back through texts to get the exact idea, writing up bibliographies and footnotes, and most of all and most hatefully, I hate editing.

As for setting goals, as in 'tonight I will get to page 10 and tomorrow I will round this sucker off and send it on its merry way,' for me and papers this doesn't usually work. I have to break it down into smaller, more manageable sections for my highly distractable brain. I should instead say, 'tonight I will write five pages or at least to a decent stopping point, edit them to flow smoothly with what I would like to say next, and tomorrow I will write five more pages or to a decent stopping point and edit them to flow smoothly with what I would like to say next.' Of course, the paper is due Friday, but I can't be doing any of it on Friday because of gigs and work, so that leaves ten pages and the general edit to do all on Thursday. Which means that I will be sitting here Thursday stressin'. I will not write my best work and I will be unhappy with the finished project, which is unfortunate being as I am incredibly geeked about my current field of study.

So what should I do? That chai latte will still be there tomorrow, right? Nose to the grindstone, right? I'll be happy I did it now, right?



This is my second-to-last academic paper, barring the highly unlikely chance that someday someone asks me to actually use my secondary musicology degree. Sweet, sweet freedom is just around the corner.