How to write a 400-500 word abstract supposing one would like to present at an academic conference.
Before motherhood and maternity leave:
1. Go to office.
2. Piddle for a while: get a coffee, chat with neighbours, check mail, read e-mail and internet forums.
3. Open blank word document.
4. Stare at said document.
5. Surf internet again. There's this big world out there, and you need to know what's going on in it. Barring that, there's always YouTube.
6. Bang out 500 words at a rate of roughly 3 buzzwords per minute.
7. Show said 500 words to your neighbours who will offer helpful ideas like "you could put another buzzword there" and "are you sure 'intertextualize' is a word?" and "wanna grab a beer instead of write this abstract?"
8. Hit save button. Assume it is good enough.
9. Call it a day and go for the afore mentioned beer.
How to accomplish this same task during maternity leave:
1. Attempt to write during nap time.
2. Discover that it is impossible to simultaneously worry about the 700 lbs of laundry that have piled up, because no matter how hard you try, you just can't manage it without help that, because of your employment status, you cannot afford.
3. Give up, start laundry, discover that darling child has woken up and is hungry and messy.
4. Try again. Fail miserably, because how could anyone manage to write anything intelligent when the kitchen is this messy?
5. Remember that the above is why you used to go to the office to work, and why you miss having an office desperately.
6. Mention to Darling Husband the difficulty of trying to write while being a mommy. Have him offer, from the goodness of his heart, to baby wrangle for a couple of hours while you go write for a while.
7. Provide sexual favour to afore mentioned spouse for spending 2 hours doing what you do every day.
8. When the appointed day arrives, remind your spouse that he said he do this. Do not accept, even for a minute, his claim of forgetfulness.
9. Leave baby with husband, trying very hard to ignore mom-guilt and pile of dirty laundry. Pile of dirty laundry won't get substantially worse whilst you are gone.
10. Go to café. Set up laptop, pretend decaf is just as good as the real stuff.
11. Write like a crazy person.
12. Realize you aren't 100% sure if the buzzwords you used to use are still buzzwords or are now just lame.
13. Pee. Decaf may not be all of that, but your bladder ain't what she used to be.
14. Try to ignore all of the interesting strangers at the café.
15. Relish being in public without people criticizing your parenting or commenting on the handsomeness of your baby boy, who oddly is dressed in a pink dress.
16. Realize that your 2 hours are nearly at an end, and speed home with 350 passable words, and remain unconvinced by decaf.