I hope you’re all having a wonderful spring break!
On another note, I’m currently reflecting on the writing challenge I’m facing now: I feel like I need to know everything. I get in this habit of thinking about how I am going to make the points I want to make in my paper, and I lose sight of my topic completely. I do this by contemplating the points I’m making and then doubting that my research combined with my own analytical abilities will give me anything substantial to work with. I do this because when I lose sight of my topic, I assume that my job as a writer is to inform everyone in the entire world of the exact answers to all the world’s questions around my topic. With this mindset, I feel unprepared and inadequate.
In order to stop overestimating my role, I am attempting to focus on how interesting I find my own research. Because we are generally writing for people of equal intelligence and with comparable knowledge of our topics, it’s easier to see how my contributions can be valuable to others when I think about how they are valuable to me. I don’t need to scavenge through thousands of entire books and synthesize them to solve the world’s questions in order to be compelling and insightful.
As Ray reminded me in our last class, sometimes you just have to pause and ask the basic questions. In my case, that is, “Why are they wearing that?,” which is interesting enough to me.