For the longest time that I can remember, I have always been a planner, and with that an overthinker. Whether it be planning just for a random weekday evening, or even something which is ten years down the road, I am always thinking, planning, and making decisions to satisfy the time that I sort of have to fill in and convince myself of planning something. For example, I already know where I want to have my big fat Indian wedding (hint: Dubai) – so so crazy right?? I am always thinking and planning and planning and thinking. I live by and love Google Calendar as it keeps my life so organized with the many different colors on my screen blocking my time for various occasions, events, classes, and even silly reminders such as “Print readings for class.” Being a plan-freak and always having the urge to know everything has indeed affected the ways how I write.
One starting point that I invariably begin my writing with is having an idea, and more particularly, developing the thesis statement for my essay or my piece of writing. I have been in several writing courses where a thesis statement isn’t necessary but I still have developed them as they guide me through writing the rest of the paper. Having concrete ideas set in one or two sentences up front on my Word document help me focus into meeting the “prompts” of my thesis statement(s). While this does sound like a restriction, I often fear that I wouldn’t have the “right” or “correct” thesis which shall make my paper less compelling, or not meeting the writing prompts.
My need, more like want, to know everything in advance leads to this subconscious ritual of setting up the thesis statement(s) and using that as an overarching theme of my piece of writing. I want to believe that it is a good strategy, but I also know that it doesn’t work in all cases. This semester, as I work on the capstone project, I want to make an effort to shift from being so rigid in action plans to using the large plethora of opportunities to add flavor and change up certain aspects that could spice up my final project! What are some of the strategies you have when you begin writing?