Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The (T)Ex(t)orcists

If it is true, as Dan Davis says, that “Procrastination is Evil,” (see Using Your Syllabi to Plan Out Your Writing Assignments) then perhaps those of us possessed by this tendency might find relief from its malevolence by following the advice of EIU President Perry, whose interview with EIU Writes is coming soon to our blog. He advises writers who suffer from the symptoms of procrastination to “take ten minutes” and just write.

Likewise, Dr. Tim Taylor, Director of the EIU Writing Center, has offered strategies for combating the demon procrastination. He, like Mr. Davis, advocates establishing a writing schedule as well as doing mortal combat with the notion that words must come out perfectly the first time, citing poet William Stafford’s idea that sometimes we have to “lower [our] standards” in the initial stages of generating material.

In the spirit of embracing the messiness of first drafts and early efforts, I suggest the cinematic metaphor of Linda Blair’s performance in The Exorcist, infamous for its graphic scene of projectile illness. It is a disgusting allusion, but somehow apt. I have seen other fecund expressions of the need for loosening textual effusion. See, for example, a recent post by Ben Myers on the WVU Writing Center Blog , notable for its erudition as well as its figurations of bodily function. It can be found here

Like me, some of our readers might be inspired by those named above to give up procrastination for Lent.

Coming Soon…Robert De Niro’s Texty Driver: “One of these days I’m gonna get myself organized.”

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