>> Tuesday, April 30, 2013
As I procrastinated, spending more time at dinner complaining about topology than in the library doing topology, I realized that procrastination isn’t just about laziness. It’s about anxiety. To work on something you don’t understand means facing your doubts and confusions head-on. Procrastination pushes back that painful confrontation.-Ben Orlin, "What It Feels Like To Be Bad At Math",Slate, April 29th, 2013.
Oh crap, it's that simple, inn'it? Or, tragically, just that complicated. Procrastination isn't about laziness (though I am, as The Stranger said of The Dude, a lazy man), it's about doubt. It's about knowing that if you try to get to work on the project, you will have to face up to your own ignorance and incompetence.
Hence a big chunk of recent writer's block: whatever some of you (or anyone else) may say about the subject, the fact is that I know that I'm an idiot who doesn't know what he's writing about. (To add a baffling layer to this self-doubt and put into context the value of my opinions on this, please bear in mind that I'm talking, here, about writing about things I make up, i.e. I don't know what I'm talking about re: things of my own invention.)
Does recognizing this help? No idea. Is this something I can face about myself, overcome, learn the self-confidence to boldly strive forward and do instead of thinking about doing (which is functionally the same as not doing)?