The Virtue of Deadlines

Time waits for no man.

Time waits for no man.

Today I discovered another virtue of the Faculty Initiative on Digital Identity: it provides deadlines.  This is a truth I have long understood about writing, about the academy, and about myself: it’s really hard to produce anything worthwhile without a deadline to focus your thinking.  When I’m productive, it’s because a deadline is looming, and when I’m unproductive, it’s because I have all the time in the world.  The need to build out my digital identity forced me to undertake some (small) writing tasks that I might otherwise have put off.  Today, I wrote a brief intellectual autobiography for my “Scholarship” page, a task that I had put some idle thought into but which I had never bothered to actually complete.   The necessity of filling in that blank white page with something forced me to finally be rigorous in thinking about and writing down some of the unifying themes of my various scholarly projects.  So if nothing else, the deadlines inherent in this initiative (as much as they seemed tediously quotidian to me yesterday) are forcing me to think more clearly.

One comment

  1. Jim Groom says:

    What’s so cool about the Scholarship page you composed is that I now know a bit more about the naturalization of capitalism as well as more about your scholarship more generally. I can;t say that about a lot of people I work alongside at UMW. Sharing stuff like this seems to make us more of an intellectual community. A space to share the work we do that not only fosters a sense of commuity locally at UMW, but also beyond for other 19th century US Historians. It’s pretty cool. Not to mention you’ve been en fuego with the blog.

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