Ode to Caffeine
I don’t care about the type of utensil or paper I use. Music or silence, my room or the cafeteria; I can write in any environment. Relaxed and calm or stressed and under pressure; I can write in any state of mind. Fiction or nonfiction; I don’t have a preference of which one to write. But still day after day I write and write and write. So what is it that helps me write? What is the one thing that I cannot write without? The answer is simply, caffeine.
It’s 10pm; I have a 15 page paper on the interdisciplinary of homosexuality due tomorrow and an all-nighter staring me in the face. How am I going to get through this? I brew a pot of coffee and pour myself a cup, with extra milk and sugar, of course. I take a sip. Now I’m feeling invigorated and energized. I can do this. Staring the blank page, I just start typing my introduction. First paragraph done, alright, I can do this. Starting the body of the paper. Looking at the references. Trying to figure out what’s important. Damn, why am I so disorganized? Why am I such a procrastinator? Oh well, can’t do anything about that now, I have to get this done tonight. Quoting my sources. Using bullshit to fill in the gaps. 5 pages down, 10 to go. Damn, I’m out of coffee. I get up out of bed, walk to the kitchen and pour another cup.
I have a new wave of energy. OK, back to work. Done with all the scientific stuff. Moving on the section on hate crimes against homosexuals. This is a subject that I feel very strongly about so this should go by fast. Quote, paraphrase, bullshit, take a sip of coffee, quote, paraphrase, bullshit, take a sip of coffee. I can do this. Yes, another 5 pages down, 5 more to go. It’s all downhill from here. On to proving that the death of Matthew Shepard was a hate crime, this should not be hard considering the fact that I fully believe that it was. I found a definition of ‘hate crime’ by the American Psychological Association that I can use to help prove my point. Done with that section. Alright, now on the recent law that was passed in response to Matthew Shepard’s death. OK, the body is done, now time for the conclusion. Restate, rephrase, commentary, take a sip of coffee, restate, rephrase, commentary, take a sip of coffee. OK, done with the conclusion. Damn, only 14 pages and I’m out of coffee. I get up and make another cup. Now time to proofread.
Going through the paper. What do I need to add? What do I need to get rid of? What do I need to rephrase? That doesn’t sound right. What is it that I was trying to say here? Sipping my coffee. Looking at the clock. Damn, it’s midnight. Guess I’m not getting any sleep tonight. Finally, make it through proofreading the paper once. It’s now exactly 15 pages. Alright, that was my goal. I’m done. I type up the Works Cited, hit print, walk downstairs, take the paper upstairs, and staple the papers together. Alright, time for bed. I dump out the rest of the coffee and set the timer on the coffee pot to brew a pot in the morning.
Every time that I wait till the last minute to write a paper, I tell myself that I will never do it again and that I will end my procrastination, but it is not an easy habit to change. I still find myself waiting till the last minute to write papers. I still am a victim of my own bad habits. I still find myself stuffing my body with caffeine late at night to keep myself awake long enough to finish the paper. You might say that I could avoid a lot of stress by practicing some discipline and ending my procrastination, but I am who I am and I am not going to change. Caffeine is a procrastinator’s best friend. Coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, jolt gum-it doesn’t matter what form the caffeine takes; it all works. Caffeine is the one thing that I cannot write without and I feel that it is a tool that is important to all writers, especially procrastinators like me.