For reasons that now escape me, I am participating on a journal this year. My time in Australia last semester means that I didn’t really get to participate in all the initial cite checking and source-pulling or get to actually meet anyone else on the journal. I do still have the eerie specter of my Note looming over me like the grim shadow of death.
The deadline is fast approaching. I have a draft of the thing open in another window but it is basically crap. My reasoning is mushy, my syntax is garbled, and my citations bear little resemblance to what my BlueBook tells me they should look like.
In short: I cannot write. I am a hack and a fraud. I made a mistake.
The benefits of writing on to a journal that I might enjoy later in life do not seem worth the effort as I sit here banging my head against the wall of my own mediocrity and struggling to create a scholarly work about Superman’s legal history that doesn’t read like the work of a braindead man-child. I’ve been putting in the time and the effort but the payoff seems like it will be far on the horizon and isn’t at all certain. And I have logged some serious hours in front of my trusty laptop, the vast majority of which I spent actually doing work. My office area is starting to soak up the stink of isolation and regret that wafts from my pale and atrophied body.
It smells exactly like a 1987 Toyota Celica that had a Baja Chalupa forgotten on the rear floorboard for 3 hot days and then the owner sprayed some Febreeze into the back seat.
I still have time to hammer this wretched waste of ink into some manageable shape before I hand it in to the Powers That Be and all the editors gather to cackle maniacally at my pitifully inept stab at producing a note. I have words on the page and so am not fully crippled by the heady mix of fear and inertia that normally keeps me from spoiling the virgin white of the empty page. The downside is that I have to actually crawl through my own work word by word and salvage some bit of usable legal academic writing from the paragraphs of nigh-unintelligible dross.
I have only this all-too brief foray into nigh-unintelligible blogging to distract me from my frustration and for that I thank whatever gods of procrastination saw fit to create the idea of wasting time on the internet. Blogging is better than my usual means of wasting time on the internet because it creates the illusion that I am doing something useful. I am writing, after all. My hands are moving on the keyboard with greater swiftness and more assurance than they do when I have my note file open. At best, I can use this as a small respite from the deadline pressure and recharge my internal writing batteries before again wading into battle with my own lack of coherence.
Once more into the breach…