Stupid Introduction to a Stupid Article by Stupid Clarissa

I’m in a vile mood, people. The stupid introduction to my article isn’t working out. I’ve been struggling with it for a week and all I have is a bunch of ugly, unconnected sentences.

I’ve tried everything and it still isn’t working out. I’ve left it aside and worked on something else for a while. I’ve deleted it and started from scratch several times. I’ve walked around mumbling in different languages. I’ve reread the article itself 6 times. I’ve tried writing on paper. I’ve thrown papers on the wall, hit myself on the head, and tugged my hair. I’ve gotten so desperate that I even tried physical exercise.

And nothing works. And if the introduction doesn’t work, that means the entire article is garbage.


15 thoughts on “Stupid Introduction to a Stupid Article by Stupid Clarissa

  1. Get all that anger and frustration out. Leave it alone for a bit. Read a lovely book that makes you feel all fuzzy and inspired and HOOAH about the world.

    The frustrating thing about writing is, it comes when it’s damn well ready to, and not before.

    But it’ll come. πŸ™‚

    It’ll be okay.


  2. Sometimes, one begins an article that just not work out. Your difficulty in writing the introduction may be an important signal for you to drop the project. Remember that there is always an opportunity cost (the most highly valued project foregone) in spending time on anything. So it may be that this project is a net loser for you. Better to drop it upfront than to spend weeks working on a failing effort and to miss out on something much more promising.


  3. The intro is the hardest thing! I seriously spend as much time writing the introduction that I do writing the entire paper. The intro makes or breaks a article! Sometimes I think it’s the pressure of knowing the intro needs to be spectacular that gets to me. But I know you will persevere. Your dedication to your scholarly writing has inspired me and I believe in you! (By the way, my Seinfeld chain hasn’t been spectacular. But on the plus side, I have managed to set aside 2-3 days a week for writing. So it’s been getting better for me. And I partly have you and your blog to thank!)


    1. Even a short chain is better than no chain. Those 2 times a week that you write will produce some good writing, which is the entire point.

      The Internet is great because we can all inspire each other and share strategies with each other.

      We rock.


  4. So one way I’ve made it past really bad confusing sections of papers that nothing else has worked is to print the offending paragraph(s) out, size 14 font, quadruple spacing. Then I cut apart each clause (the different shapes helps, so I don’t do it line-by-line) and literally cut, paste, and rewrite with the puzzle pieces spread out on my floor. (my desk is rather pathetically cluttered and doesn’t fit such an exercise). Since all the ideas are there, it helps me to create better flow and connectivity. It has helped in the past. πŸ™‚ I hope you get un-blocked soon! You’re not stupid πŸ™‚


  5. I think this is an inevitable side effect of wiritng every day. Your mind needs some down time to digest and see the big picture. Seeing the big picture is absolutely necessary for writing a good introduction.


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