It is usually at this point in the process that I will have outlined a draft or made notecards full of research. I have not. Due to a series of reasons including group projects, research projects, and other deadlines, I have not been able to sit down and work continuously on my project since Thursday. Thankfully, I got most of the technical research done last week. I pretty thoroughly researched the Chinese zodiac and have pre-existing research on the origins of Western astrological practices like natal charts. Rather optimistically, my plan for this past weekend was to have written at least half of my research framework down.
Clearly, this did not occur despite how hard I tried to remain efficient. I even went to North campus in an attempt to remain focused by secluding myself in the Dude and feeding off of other people’s productivity.
One thing that I did manage to do was write down and remember a bunch of personal experiences that I wanted to include in my paper. Because I’m so superstitious, I have a superstition that if I say certain superstitions out loud, they will no longer work (like birthday cake wishes). My mom would also not appreciate me revealing some of her own beliefs, lest they lose their efficacy. Therefore, I’ve had to dig deep to find nonoffensive stories that relate to large groups of people.
I think that I really need to get an outline going. Currently, I have a lot of loose ideas floating around. The strange combination of personal essay elements and research elements is a new experience. For me, writing creative non-fiction and writing academic and/or research essays are two very different processes. I’m currently wondering whether I should attempt to weave the research together with the personal parts or if I should separate them as Leslie Jamison did in “The Devil’s Bait.” I’m leaning towards Leslie Jamison right now.
Of course, we won’t know until I actually do it, will we?