The Mad Mood Swings of Essay-Writing

There seems to be a pattern to essay-writing. My subconscious predicts the expected time of completion, rather like a computer update. As with computer updates, the prospects sometimes change quickly and can result in weird mood swings.

The essays are about 2000 words, but it is a struggle to even get the main points identified. My fingers can’t seem to work, my brain stops processing properly, and I try to hold back tears. It’s looking bad:

‘Essay: 2% complete – 18hrs 10mins remaining.’

A short break, more coffee, and my brain unblocks. Ooh, I get what I’m supposed to do – this is interesting! The words start to flow. I become confident, because I seem to be heading in the right direction, and the end is in sight:

‘Essay: 6% complete – 2 hrs 16mins remaining.’

I soon hit another blip:

‘Essay: 8% complete – 4 and a half years remaining!’

That’s the meltdown point. It’s also ‘Chocolate o’clock’.

My rational mind tries to reason with me. This part of me knows that the essay will ‘click’ very soon, and that it usually only takes a couple of hours to complete the first draft once I’m in the right frame of mind.

So, I should just relax, take a deep breath, and work calmly and methodically until I get to the end…

But writing isn’t always a rational business!


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