On the non-linear process of grant writing

Dr. Isis recently tweeted:

I hear that. Like, right now. Seriously.

At the beginning of a writing task, especially grant proposals, I always feel like a sad sack who is procrastinating her time away when *THERE IS A DEADLINE OMG, HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE IT COMING?!?!?*. But the thing is, there's always this phase at the beginning of putting some creative endeavour together where your thoughts have to marinate, where the right way to present them has to emerge, where the sparkling way to motivate and reveal your objectives and the (naturally) brilliant way you plan to go get 'em comes forward. For me that involves a lot of scribbling stuff on paper, staring at a wall, going for a jog, writing garbage I know I'll delete later, and consuming a lot of coffee. It feels *SUPER* unproductive. But so far, I've found that otherwise I stare at an unrelenting blinking cursor that fills me with anxiety as the seconds to the deadline tick away. Or, if I'm really stubborn and write without being ready, I'll throw away even more time writing something disconnected and disorganized that has to be largely discarded anyway.

So, two questions:

1. Does anyone have a more efficient feeling formula for getting past this stage? (my deadline is in less than a week...)

2. Has anyone studied the non-linear progress of writing tasks? (my deadline is in less than a week: if my productivity takes a major hockeystick upturn on say.. Tues, all will be fine. reassurance that will happen is welcome.)

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