My to-do list for this semester has shrunk quite dramatically. I have two things left to finish. Crazy, right? A week ago it was a much longer list.
It's a good feeling, being awake in the middle of the night, working on a paper. Whenever I finish a long paper, I have this weird exhilarated reaction despite the sleep deprivation. Maybe that's what it feels like to have given birth. Also, I may be naturally slightly nocturnal, so being awake in the middle of the night is pretty great on its own (pretty strange for a woman who was afraid of the dark for years when she was a kid and still can't sleep without a light on when alone at night).
Something about the end of the semester usually means that I'm sick. Last spring, I went to a final accompanied by a box of tissues. Today I woke up way early, having gone to bed late and not slept much, because of this cold that I caught from J. Unable to go back to sleep, I managed to finish three assignments, do dishes, go to the doctor to get a prescription renewal, and do a load of laundry, all before noon. This is pretty awesome for me, since mornings and I aren't friends.
I've been working on the paper for a lot of the afternoon and evening. My process with papers is different than my process with fiction. With fiction, I do a lot of drafting and revising. With papers, I do a lot of outlining, note-taking, reading, and thinking, so by the time I sit down to write the paper, the writing itself isn't too hard because I already know most of what I want to say.
I typically don't follow the advice I give tutoring students: get it done early, let it sit, read over it again, have someone else read over it. I wish I did. I'm not organized enough in my personal life to do that (unless it's my thesis, in which case a constant state of revision is pretty normal), and I never have been (hence my untidy home and the fact that I have no idea what I'm serving for dinner tomorrow).
And yet this disorder works for me. Having to rearrange things once in a while works. Not sure why.