I just grabbed my resources, organized my workspace and decided to clear up my email so I can work undistracted for a while on my final paper of the semester. I am about to dig into the account of Mary of Bethany anointing Jesus for burial. I've worked through the text doing a hackish translation (capitalizing on other peoples work of course - my Greek is still pretty weak). Read the text that frames the approach of this narrative analysis (point of view through narrative elements). Meditated on the passage, I think I am pretty familiar with the bit of text I am working with. Now I just need to outline the paper and write.
This is how I work. I tend to do a lot of prep and procrastination. But once I start typing the usually the juices flow and all is good. So why is it so stressful to start?
I think life is full of things that are like papers. Lots of projects that affect your own view of yourself. Yes, it is about self-image. I grew up being told I didn't do many things right - and even though it has been many years since I realized how deeply that scarred me I still am not fully healed. Each paper or major project carries with it the possibility of someone telling me I can't do it right. Even though I am a straight A student and have had some success with writing, it is always a risk. There is always that possibility of failing that stands like a troll guarding the bridge to completion. That is why I don't like taking on projects at home like hanging curtain rods and painting walls. Sure I do them, but usually with much agony and pain. And when my wife suggests someone else help then my fears are realized and my pain is real - that is usually when I end up doing the jobs I hate the most.
Well it is time to defeat that troll again. See you all on the other side of the bridge!