Writing Rituals – Thesis??

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?

Apoorvee Singhal

Hopeless romantic, fiction enthusiast, eternally loves coffee and (bougie) brunch

3 thoughts to “Writing Rituals – Thesis??”

  1. Hey Apoorvee, I like planning as well, but I enjoy it the most when I can plan for the sake of the ritual of planning (research, writing it out, figuring out the benefits, etc.) That being said, I have a different approach to writing. I basically do not plan out my thesis or ideas. I never really write down these things, but I always give myself time to think. Oh, and I loathe outlines! I find it most helpful to essentially just word vomit and get it all out before refining it. It’s interesting to me to hear how your process is different than mine. It would be a cool experiment to try each others methods. I think it would be a challenge for me. What would you find challenging about that?

  2. This is such an interesting way to think about ritual–everyone else’s seemed to involve something involving location or setting, but I enjoy how yours deals with more of the mental preparation of writing. I totally related with this need to plan–I live by my Google Calendar too! I admire your sense of clarity and your drive to find it before you start writing–it is something I always struggle with. I wonder, how would your ritual change if you tried to write something without knowing where it was going or what exactly it was about? A strategy I use when I write for fun is to sit in a public place and write about the first stranger I see or the first object that catches my eye.

  3. Apoorvee-

    Number one, I also love coffee and bougie brunch so we will have to have a brunch date very soon!

    Number two, I recently purchased a “300 Writing Prompts” from the Value Section of Barnes & Noble (my happy place) for something like $8.00. Whenever I am feeling like writing but don’t know where to start, and don’t have something else that needs my attention, I pop it open and flip to the next blank page and write whatever comes to mind. I think this could be a cool addition to your ritual, or just a fun daily/weekly/whenever you can practice that might free you up from the rigidity you mentioned! (And of course, no peeking ahead at the prompts so your Google-Cal loving brain cannot plan!)

    Might be fun!



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