I have confidence?

I’m confident in Max. Who he was, what he meant to me, how to tell his story and what his story means to so many others, both dog and human. I have a (dog’s) lifetime of material to work from, and I have experience writing creative non-fiction stories the way I wish to write Max’s. But, there is a piece of the giant puzzle that will be my final project about which I’m less confident: topic analysis. I haven’t written in the genre of topic analysis in quite a long time. I am working on a thesis, which certainly involves research and articulation of that research, but I guarantee if I wrote the topic analysis elements of my project the same way I am writing my thesis, I would have zero readers. Nobody wants to read nonsense like that on their own time. So, creating the topic analyses of my project is going to have to be a highly practiced task. How do I convey my research without being too dry? Some of that will be accomplished by paralleling each topic analysis with a story about Max, but not all of it. Beyond that task, I also have to successfully merge the topic analysis and creative non-fiction elements into one genre as my project progresses – something I have NEVER done and am not entirely sure I will be able to accomplish. I think the effect of this technique will be incredible, a real trip for the reader, but only if done well.

I’m excited to write about Max. I’m sure a lot of that excitement comes from being confident in the Max-aspect of my project. But, I need to transfer some of that excitement over to the other elements of my project: the topic analysis, the overall form and its effect, the tone, etc. Max alone will not make a great project, and all of the other elements are going to require a lot more of my attention and effort.

2 thoughts to “I have confidence?”

  1. I really resonate with what you are saying here. Like I said in my blog post, I feel confident about a lot the technical aspects of producing the components of my project. What I am not confident about is my ability to successfully put it all together into a cohesive whole. Just as you said, I think what makes us nervous is not being able to fully see the finished product. With uncertainty about the process of making a cohesive, interesting topic that includes all of the research elements and personal narrative, it is hard to get started.

    What I am going to try doing to get myself over this lack of confidence, and to start generating ideas is I am going to keep a journal. Every time I write part of my creative nonfiction piece, or begin research, I am going to write down my thoughts and feelings about the topic. I hope that having this journal will help me to concentrate my thoughts, and hopefully even track down new ideas or directions that I could go as they come up. I often find writing helpful in uncovering answers to things. So hopefully keeping a diary of the process will help relieve some stress, but also help me come up with clear ways of putting together the project as a whole.

    Good Luck!

  2. Hi Christina,

    I think a lot of what you write here makes sense and definitely relates to what I’m going through, as well. I have a pretty firm grasp on my what my topic is and what I want to convey – but I’m still pretty unsure of what exactly the final product is going to look like. It’s kind of a weird feeling, especially considering the scale of what this is supposed to be. What I’m going to try to do, I think, and I’d probably suggest this to you as well, is to try a couple of different writing styles – write a bunch of different stuff in a bunch of different ways and see what works. Once you get a bunch of stuff on paper, you can delete whatever you want and it might be easier than you think to fit a bunch of it together.

    Okay – I’m rambling now, so I’ll stop. I really can’t wait to read your project and would love to help along the way! I love dogs and pretty much anything/everything about them, so any time you want to share funny dog stories or whatever I’m always available. Like, always. Hope this helps!


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