Sunday, December 21, 2008


I just finished reading Donald Miller's Through Painted Deserts. Reading Donald Miller always puts me in a contemplative frame of mind and so I started thinking: I should to be more thoughtful. I need to develop better writing habits. I really should find a more productive way to waste time.

Productively wasting time. Perhaps that statement needs a little clarification.

I'm a Ph.D. candidate in English (I won't bore anyone with the details of my research with the necessary exception of my committee) and all that's left is the pesky dissertation. I've written most of my introductory chapter and the majority of the research is out of the way. I'm in the home stretch, I guess. But the closer I get to finishing, the more I look for ways to avoid writing. It's not that I don't want to finish. I mean, I've been in college for fifteen years (give or take) and I want to move on. But when I run into trouble with the dissertation, it seems easier to just surf the web or take a nap or just stare at the ceiling than work my way through the problem. None of these are very productive options.

Thus the need to productively waste time. Maybe writing about something other than British Literature will help me write about British Literature. Maybe not. But if I waste time blogging, I think I'll feel better about myself than if I waste time doing almost anything else. At least if I blog, I'm writing. And writing something -- anything -- is better than writing nothing at all.

Oh yeah -- the blog title. I stole it from a friend of mine who once described his effort level in life as "aiming to try." Well, sometimes that's all any of us can manage: all we can do is aim to try.

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