I have posted love letters on this blog before (here and here). This is, in a sense, a third instalment.
I have written a few short pieces lately, all of which are intended for broader audiences beyond academia. I took the tasks on with my usual optimism or even more, but ended up spending days agonising over each of them.
Now they are all off my hands and navigating their own ways into the world, I can’t help but reflect on what made it particularly difficult this time — or was it really an exception?
I write extremely slowly. Even in my native language. I have always had awe and envy for people who can fill up pages ‘in one stroke of the pen’. This is not a new realisation.
On top of this, however, what I must keep firmly in mind is this paper that I came across a few months ago. In short, consumers tend to underpredict their future spending because they usually base their predictions on typical expenses alone, although atypical expenses are often more substantial in amount. The cognitive mistake we make by doing so, to paraphrase the authors, is that atypical expenses may occur at abnormal intervals, but they are not as rare as we think they are.
As soon as I started reading the paper, I had an epiphany 💡 that they are talking about deadlines.
S, who is my first and foremost reader, has just told me how many solid days I seem to need to produce a 800-word article, according to his observation. That is three times longer than how much time I would set aside when I organise my calendar. Three times!!! 😱 I have been saying I am a slow writer, but it looks like I have never truly embraced myself till now.