Cram-Bam…Miracle? Embrace Yowling

Cram-Bam…Miracle? Embrace Yowling

Do you hop from project to project? Does your mind nibble in a meadow of great ideas without finishing one? Do you lack satisfaction when you finally do finish? You may have a cram-bam approach and not know it. This means you ignore your yowling and wait until the last minute to start. Then you procrastinate, try again, abandon all effort, try again, get even more frustrated, and then try to internalize and utilize months…even weeks…of information in just a short time. If you take the cram-bam-exam approach to your studies, you may find yourself doing the same with work projects.  I see students flustering through it all the time. I even witness my doctoral-level editing clients frantically tracing this same pattern with their projects. I recognize cram-bam, because I’ve done it myself.

So, no worries. If you’re a cram-bammer, there’s no judgment here.

Are you a yowling creator? Click here and take the quiz.
Are you a yowling creator? Click here and take the quiz.

Why We Cram-Bam

The reasons why we do it are numerous and diverse. It’s not like we don’t know we’re doing it. Sometimes we say, “Oh, I really have to get started on…” or “I know I should work on it, but….” Our excuses get as creative as we are. I struggle with it in the face of that sexy slave driver–perfectionism. For you, it may be general busyness or a dislike of your topic matter or task. Or, it may be hard for you to honor your yowling and set healthy boundaries to ensure time for the process of study or creation. The simple reason is this: We do it, because it works.

The sad reality is that cram-bam doesn’t work with writing. Even professional cram-bammers can’t do it. Take, for example, productive journalists and those who stream online daily or hourly. Often these pros have a hidden team of people with whom they work (research assistants, interns, copywriters, and editors, etc…), who collaborate with them to bring you the final product.

The Yowling Creator Alternative

When approaching any writing task, avoid the cram-bam cycle. Instead, engage your Yowling Creator’s Way to help you contain the pressure that builds up in your brain. Believe it or not, it’s actually the shortest route to your finish line. Below are the stages. Each is linked to a page that you can go to and rely on for support as you make your way through your paper, project, presentation, party planning, etc…

  • RESEARCHIf you’re having trouble finding time to work
  • BRAINSTORMIf your feel stuck
  • THESIS–If you’re hunting for focus
  • OUTLINE–If your creation feels disorganized, disjointed, or disconnected
  • FLESHING IT OUT–If you just sat down and expected everything to pop from your brain to the page, you probably tried to start here
  • REVISION–If you sense something is missing or not quite right

Don’t trust the bunny. Instead, embrace your yowling. Simply check out the tag cloud to the right, click on the stage where you think you are, and read on for more help!

Are You a Cram-Bam Creator Junkie? If so, Share Your Story at Yowling Creator…

21 Responses to “Cram-Bam…Miracle? Embrace Yowling”

  1. Alexxis Schorr says:

    First of all, I love how you refer to perfectionism as a sexy slave driver because that could not be more correct. This article really describes how I used to work in high school and I’m finding that I can’t do that anymore here at APU. I find the breakdown of the steps to be extremely helpful. Though everything up to this point has made sense in theory, the application really made no sense. It was just a process, and I had no idea how to apply without going from step to step. The breakdown above helps me understand how to apply it outside of the order of the steps. Very helpful, I will definitely be using it to get unstuck with this research paper.

  2. Adam Jan says:

    At this moment, I’m actually dealing with this cram-bam problem. I have a final paper due in one of my other classes this week and I have been putting it off. I’ve made up all the excuses I could think of to not do it. I finally started it today and I’m having a really hard time making progress on this essay. I’m definitely feeling the consequences of being unprepared. Reading the breakdown of the steps really helps me get back on track. I’ll have to remember these tips, so I can save myself from the frustration and the time waisted from waiting until the last second.

  3. Gabe Maceo says:

    Being a cram-bam junkie has been an issue of mine since high school. Unable to break the habit, i continuously find myself struggling with hopping from one project to a paper to an assignment because i lose focus. The combination of being a perfectionist and a procrastinator often leaves me stressed and frozen on days before a due date. I love the idea of referring to my thesis when i lose focus or brainstorming when I feel stuck. I will use these tips right away as i have to finish a paper for another class!

  4. Ryan Hollifield says:

    This explains me perfectly. I jump for subject to subject because I am not able to focus on it for too long. Then I finally procrastinate so much that I kill myself in one night. SO the next time I try to manage my time but it never works out correctly so I procrastinate again.

  5. Jonatan A says:

    Learning how to start and finish something is a life lesson. This can be applied in all areas of our life. It is so important to learn this to achieve our projects successfully. I think this blog it fits me. I feel like every word was written for me. In my life I have tried to do many things and I have accomplished some, but there are also many things I’ve left unfinished it. I’ve learned that each day is an new opportunity to start and finish projects.

  6. Beth Padini says:

    After giving it some careful thought, I realize that I was definitely a cram-bam junkie. When my classes gave me multiple projects to work on that all happen to be due on similar days, it made me feel like I had to work on each project at the same time or else I wouldn’t be giving each assignment the appropriate attention. I ended up procrastinating because I found myself not making much progress for any of my assignments. As for the finished product, there wasn’t much satisfaction produced from it because my approach from that point was to just get it done and never have to worry about it again. I skipped the whole process as a Yowling Creator.

    Now, after practicing my Yowling Creator’s Way, I have found that I am able to lessen the amount of time and frustration from having to work on more than one assignment. Dedicating time on brainstorming and outlining even for those that aren’t a writing assignment has upped my level of productivity tremendously. I will definitely continue to use this method on a current essay that I have to work on and for many future essays to come.

  7. Kimberly M. says:

    I’m a terrible cram-bammer when it comes to work I am unmotivated to do. Sometimes I feel that I work better under pressure, but I can’t relax because I have this “project” looming over my head. In the writing process I always have a problem with the fleshing it out stage/outlining stage- I’m too impatient. I know it’ll help to flesh it out in the long run, I just feel like its a boring step…is there anything that will encourage me to get organized in fleshing and outlining?

  8. Daniel Vazquez says:

    I used to work this way in high school. I would always cram everything in at the last second. I am finally learning that this will not work at APU or any college. When you reach the higher level of education in your life, it really sucks how much work they throw at you on a daily basis. I have learned how time management is such a vital necessity to ones success at the next level. I hope who ever reads this understands how important it is to just get things done with plenty of time. The faster you get thing done and properly the more free time you will have, rather than waiting until the last 6 hours before its due. I strongly believe that your work quality will raise through the roof. Best of luck to anybody who attempts cram-bam thank you mam method.

  9. Sydney Bibal says:

    I feel like this blog was super helpful in a sense of me getting motivated to stay on track to the breakdown of the assignment. I am currently juggling 3 different research papers that are all due around the same time. Therefore, I’m kind of at a point where I have a ton of things to do for each essay, i do not know where to start. The last thing I want to do is cram everything together. In high school, I was never exposed to this much work and so i never had gone through this struggle. But knowing that breaking down the assignment is the key to staying on track of each task will keep on on top of my papers.

  10. Chrissie Cheng says:

    This blog post definitely applies to me as I honestly do the “cram-bam” dance. Through feelings of frustration, laziness to finish a topic, anger in finding research, I often wait until the last minute to do something and end up with work that is barely satisfactory. While being a part of my Freshman Writing Seminar, I have learned how to use the Yowling’s creator way to make myself space my time out and take out the “cram-bam” praying for a miracle, and rather make time to produce something that would have been a miracle.

  11. Maritza Sesma says:

    I like that fact that you take about hopping from project to project because I tend to do that all the time. When I get tired about writing about one paper I just simple give my brain a break and switch to another subject. Some people may find it hard to work this way but I find it relaxing and productive. I guess you can I like to cram everything in to one sitting.

  12. Patricia Rivera says:

    Throughout my life, I’ve been a procrastinator. Usually, it works for me, but it’s evident that procrastinating is very stressful. I’m generally a lazy person, so it’s inevitable that I’d be a “pro-procrastinator”. I work best under pressure because it allows me to put my full focus and my full efforts into my creation. It’s very difficult for me to NOT procrastinate because it’s generally in my nature to put things off to the last minute.

  13. Fernanda Gutierrez says:

    I find myself doing the cram bam a lot of times. I know it is not good but somehow i always resort to it. Especially now in college with so many projects and papers I jump from paper to paper. Since high school I have been a big procrastinator and in college it has affected me a lot. I never start things early I always find myself doing it the day before. I cram bam everything and this just gets me more stressed out.

  14. Austin says:

    I sometimes have a very hard time with Procrastination but it always stresses me out to do so. Sometimes I get most of the paper written out but I then wait until the last minute to go back through and edit it and run out of time. What I should do is try to get the whole thing done and then I won’t have to worry about it. Another solution would be to work on it a tiny bit at a time instead of all at once. It would make my paper better if I worked on it a tiny bit at a time. This is something I need to get better at in college.

  15. damorye says:

    So, considering the fact that I always feel like I’m cramming thus is the first time that I’m last minute cramming more than one paper. This was incredibly helpful in getting me motivated to keep going and finish strong while starting true to the way I choose to create. Even if it is just an essay, its my essay, and I do know what I’m doing. I just need to do it.

  16. Camille Manning says:

    I can say that I have trouble staying focused on a single assignment. I will be working on an assignment and will think of another assignment that I have to work on. I constantly rotate through my assignments and seem to never get anything done. Hopefully, by following your ideas of how to avoid such procrastination.

  17. Jaylene Land says:

    This post really made me realize that with some of my projects, papers, and other things that I need to get done I do “cram-bam.” I know what I have to get done, but I underestimate the amount of time it will take me to finish it up or the amount of work that is entailed with that current task at hand. Makes me start to think how I need to plan even more than I already do, this way I don’t procrastinate ’till the last second and don’t put forth my best effort into what I need to get done. It’s really great to pause and reflect allowing yourself to make changes for the future.

  18. Melvin J Banegas says:

    I did not know the term Cram-Bam before I read this blog, nevertheless I am related to the feeling of being a Cram Bammer. As a matter of fact I am leaving this story that I am writing at last, I have been trying to postpone it because I really do not know what to do with it, It might be my lack of experience but i feel like I am stock and I can not push forward with the final product.
    I am feeling like trowing the towel,but I absolutely do not want to be a Cram-Bammer. Thanks for the info and advise that you have provide us here to encourage us to achieve our goals.

  19. Liza R. Rocha says:

    While reading your description of the “Cram Bam” syndrome. I was able to identify with it. Especially with your question, “Do you lack satisfaction when you finally do finish?” It resonated with me as my answer was yes, I had lacked satisfaction in the past. But, I never understood the reason why. I am now hopeful that having had this realization and as I set out to “Embrace Yowling” it will provide the tools to help me from falling back into the syndrome. Which in turn will allow for a sense of accomplishment at the completion of my projects.

  20. Maria Elena Lopez says:

    Wow cram bam is basically me, I love to work, I always enjoy being active and doing something here and there. I especially enjoy doing projects, I like to plan them, prepare them, run them, present them, and especially finish them. It brings me great joy to my heart whenever I am working on some time of project because I like being active both mentally and physically. Sometimes I do put on my plate more than I can chew and handle. But I love seeing how sometimes even with all the work that I have I am still able to finish it and enjoy seeing what I have accomplished. I found a little bit more about myslef in reading this article, and want to thank you for such an amazing topic!

  21. Carmen Gutierrez says:

    Being a cram-bam junkie I experimented for a short time when I was a teenager.It was a habit that I broke out of because I lost focus and was distracted. When I have a big project I want to be able to concentrate and finish the job. I like to take my time and focus on projects and not have any distractions.

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