because my homework needles me
I’m gonna be honest, I’m a little sake-tipsy right now.
In my defense, I just turned in the biggest project of the semester: a research paper based on data I collected from surveys I designed to test hypotheses I came up with. (It was a lot of work, especially for a poor English major who’s used to cranking out poetry analysis essays in two hours.) The paper was assigned two months ago, but obviously, I waited until the last three days before the deadline to start writing up my data. I spent the interim period stressing and feeding myself insecure mantras like “I’ll never get this done” and “everyone else’s research is better” and the old classic, “I’m not worth anything if I’m not productive all the time”.
Why do I do this to myself?
That’s been the question on my mind since the second month of the semester (and the semester before that… and the semester before that). But I realized it isn’t just me: why does anyone put off work in favor of screwing over their future self? Procrastinating is a border-crossing, culture-ascending, time-honored tradition. What’s so compelling about “I’ll do it tomorrow” that almost everyone defaults to it?
Part of the answer, I think, is inertia. If I’m already knitting, I’m going to keep knitting rather than put the needles down and do something gross like homework. It’s easy to start distracting myself, and even easier to keep at it. Somewhere in my psyche, I have a buried awareness of that, so I begin procrastinating with the knowledge that my ugly responsibilities aren’t compelling enough to make me stop. Then I pretend to be powerless against the yarn, and I just keep knitting.
I hope to change this off-putting putting-off habit, starting with not writing this newsletter on Sunday night before it goes out Monday morning, though I’ve already failed at that endeavor this week. I went out for sushi instead of writing, and delayed writing this article about delayed writing.
Maybe next week I’ll be better.
Little Knitting Machine
too much a lot of yarn.
Yara knows she’s not allowed to touch my yarn, but she’s gonna sit near it, dammit.
Rather than work on my inquiry project for class, I decided to wrap up some old beanie projects so they’d stop bothering me. I finished four of them in, like, 48 hours. (And they’re looking for a loving home! Be a good citizen and adopt a beanie in need from my Etsy.)
All the hats turned out well, except this HUGE one…
…which is a bummer, because it took a while to knit (and the price of that baby alpaca yarn is spicy). I’ll definitely knit it again, but not in size XXL next time.
I’ve got a few more winter patterns to try out, too. Good thing there’s lots more homework to put off.
Misery and Mystery, A Novel
I haven’t had much time to work on my novel this week, so in lieu of sharing writing updates, here’s an art update: my in-progress cover design!
Spooky, no? Kinda gives off depressed kindergartner vibes.
Each piece is cut out of construction paper. There’s a lot more coloring to do before it’s finished, but when it’s done I think it’ll be beautiful. I hope my future publisher thinks so, too.
The first part of my novel is available to read on Patreon for between 5 and infinity dollars!
My Etsy, Little Knitting Machine, is open for business 24/7. Help me use up my yarn stash.
Twitter has survived another week, I guess. I’m still there, for now.
Thanks for reading the Miss Misery Newsletter. Remember to show someone some empathy today.