Thursday, October 17, 2013

31 Days of Writing: Day Seventeen "All-Nighter"

Write about pulling an all-nighter.

The Longest Night

Coffee in cup? Check.

iTunes set to shuffle all music? Check.

Syllabus in hand? Check.

Computer charged and Microsoft Word opened? Check.

If everything is ready, why don't I feel prepared to write this paper? It's just a simple little paper...only 10 pages long. Ok, maybe it's not that simple. Especially since I've only written the first paragraph. And even more especially since it's due at 9:00 AM tomorrow.

I have exactly ten hours to write this paper, plus print it off, get dressed, and then get to Professor Waylon's office. So nine and a half hours, technically.

The clock is not on my side. The minute hand moves  to 10:02, taunting me. Glancing out the window, I see that the moon is already out with the stars. It's beautiful, but it's a cruel beauty. I should be able to appreciate the sky for just a moment, but this paper won't write itself.

I sigh, taking one more moment to gaze at the stars before sitting down and resigning myself to write this paper.

Two hours later...

Well, things are cooking. I've got a page and a half done, which is about as encouraging as hearing that The Hobbit is going to be a trilogy. Hey, maybe I can work some Tolkien references into my paper...

One hour later...

Alright, I'm on the third page! And I just found a whole bunch of quotes I can use - victory!

90 minutes later...

It's 2:30 AM, and I'm on the sixth page. I guess my brain really likes this time of night. My body doesn't; my head keeps tilting downward even as my fingers are typing furiously. Only a few more pages to go now, and I tell myself that I will enlarge the font of the periods as soon as I reach the ninth page.

75 minutes later...

It's almost 4am, and I am groggy. Fortunately, the ninth page is just a paragraph away. What to write, what to write? I should check my sources again, maybe fill in with another quote. Maybe a story for my introduction? I usually go back and add to my introduction; it helps me make sure the intro is appropriate for the direction of the paper.  Back to the beginning I go.

45 minutes later...

I'm one and a half lines onto the ninth page. Barely there, but I keep my promises, especially when a couple hours of sleep is at stake. The "find and replace" tool is my favorite thing in the world right now...

30 minutes later...

I'm two "enter" strokes away from the tenth page. Conclusion. That's what I need. A good, juicy conclusion. If I can write a conclusion by 5:00, then I can sleep for 3 hours before getting up to print my paper. Just gotta conclude that my thesis is right.

40 minutes later...

To quote Jesus, "It is finished." Boom. Like a...not a boss, because bosses get their stuff done before the night before/morning of. But like a senior in college, not a newbie freshman. Well, not exactly that either. Never mind. I give up on analogies here. I just wrote ten pages in under eight hours, and I'm going to take a nap. Nighty night...

**linking up with Victoria. Show her some comment love, if you don't mind :) **


  1. This was brilliant!!
    I just wrote a paper until 4am the other this surely applies to my life. Well written :)

    1. Thanks, friend!
      Ugh, hope you're able to catch up on some sleep soon!