Struggling is not one of those things any of us really enjoys owning up to or talking about. More and more, however, as a writer – a writer of a dissertation to complete my Ph.D. – talking about the struggles is important because the writing and editing is such a solitary activity. So too as of late is the procrastination – which I don’t condone (insert finger waggling here)!
This morning my darling partner sent me a link to Harvard Business Review articles on achievement – “The Trouble with Bright Kids.” I guess one of the reasons I am so screwed up and why I am struggling so much with the completion of the project, at least according to the HBR, is that I was praised improperly: I was praised for my accomplishment not my effort.
Yup. That seems about right. Certainly, when you figure that in terms of effort I am struggling with that each day more so than the writing (although I guess the two are indelibly linked). People are pleased with the finished product — once it gets finished, but ignore the toils along the way thinking that somehow 250+ pages just appear. They don’t. Trust me.
I can’t go back and fix my 5th grade self or scold my 5th grade teacher whose name I can’t even remember at this point — oh, but if I did, there surely would be an email to you this morning! All I can do is try writing, try working on those 20 pages that I promised myself I would work on today, and be happy that I tried. Well, there is more than that, but we will go with baby steps for now. That and get out of my pjs…