“If things don’t work out like you want this time around…”

This month, we’re writing about music: Choose a song that describes your writing successes or failures. Since I’m currently trying to get my thesis proposal approved, the song that first sprang to mind was Linkin Park’s “In the End.” It’s been a frustrating process; I know what I want to write, but I’ve had a hard time articulating my thoughts on paper. I want to blame the craziness of the past four weeks, but really, I think it’s because I’ve been working with this research for a year and a half and have lost some of my perspective. So in moments of despair, I’ve turned to the comforting words of Linkin Park: “In the end, it doesn’t even matter.”

Except that’s not true. It’s an effective defense mechanism that temporarily calms my nerves, but the fact remains that it does matter. If I keep telling myself it doesn’t, there’s a good chance I won’t even write the %$@# thing.

I’m trying to think happier, more optimistic thoughts in order to get through this semester, which–surprisingly–brings me back to an even darker time: my sophomore year of undergrad. Picture this: It’s 8 PM. The stressed college student has a 10-page paper due the next day for her Mythology class. She’s run into a big ol’ wall of writer’s block. She has about 6 pages of writing left to crank out. In the distance, a pink-haired girl bops along to an uplifting beat, voice sugar-sweet as she sings.

The college student listens. The words wash over her.

The college student can’t believe she’s actually being motivated by a song from a children’s show, but stranger things have happened.

I wound up listening to “There’s Always a Way” from LazyTown on loop until the paper was finished (don’t ask me why I had that song in my iTunes library in the first place; I really couldn’t tell you). It’s an embarrassing thing to admit, but it happened, and it helped. I’ve turned back to that song a few times since, as recently as last semester. Here’s a link to it in case any of you are either morbidly curious or desperate for something to motivate you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcWgWNgB62c

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