Do you know how at the beginning of a project you have such high hopes and expectations for yourself? Only to realize halfway through that you have 3 exams and 4 other papers and pages of homework to finish at the same time? I do, and in addition to this I have the distinct pleasure of being a mega perfectionist. I know when I’ve created and written something that I’m proud of, and right now I’m not where I want to be with my open letter. In a sense I needed to get to this point to realize what I really wanted to get out of this project (albeit I never actually wanted to reach this point), and now that I’m here I’m pretty lost. I’m so stuck on a vision of creating something amazing that I didn’t realize the time and work that I would have to put into it. I’m so used to writing research papers in a span of 3 hours that when I sat down to write my open letter and allowed myself one day; I was grossly unprepared. In fact this is very prevalent in the “open letter” that I wrote, since really it is just a research paper.
The first aspect of my open letter that I need to revise is the layout. When looking at my project, one would be more inclined to believe it was a weird variation of a research paper rather than a highly persuasive letter. The second aspect that I need to change will help the layout – I need to find a better way to cite my sources. My use of in-text citations currently is distracting and not feasible, so I am actively looking for an alternative option (perhaps hyperlinks?) The third aspect of my piece that I need to revise is my personal voice and argument. I have so much evidence and research in the open letter that I forgot to say what all of the information meant to me. I saw that in a lot of open letters there was some sort of personal connection to the topics (the writer was involved in something or had family members involved in something). However I don’t have a personal connection to my topic which makes me less credible in the eyes of the reader. Therefor, my argument and my writing has to be that much stronger to make up for my lack of involvement.
Overall, I feel that I am in a place where many people become stuck while writing. I have something written that I could submit and be done with, but that I’m really not proud of. My open letter is full of research and full of great points but that are poorly organized. In addition, I’ve spent so much time researching and constructing what I have that I am afraid to delete or get rid of sections. I need to take a step back and think about what I ideally want from this piece, how I would be proud of the writing, and how to execute these ideas. I know what needs to be changed (citations, layout, my personal voice and my arguments) and now I am at the point where I need to actually do things out of my comfort zone to accomplish what I want. Like I said, being a perfectionist sucks.