Capstone Brainstorm

It’s a picturesque afternoon in southeast Michigan; dad is mowing the lawn while mom grills burgers for a late lunch.  The dog is hunting flies by the screen door to the deck.  And here I sit on my father’s laptop, staring begrudgingly at what can only be described as a quintessential blank page: the blank page to this blog post, sure, but also — and more terrifyingly — the blank page that is my capstone project for the Minor in Writing.

My first inclination for what my capstone project will be is based on form.  When thinking about the kind of writing I love – and the kind that I would love to be able to create – I think of essayists like David Sedaris and Rebecca Solnit, whose book The Faraway Nearby recently left me on the floor of my bedroom staring at the ceiling, the way great books often do. Thus, I am considering making an attempt at writing a series of essays which skirt the line between memoir and nonfiction while incorporating plenty of research- that’s the kind of thing that makes nerds like me excited.

When it comes to content, however, I’m at more of a loss.  My technique for considering what to write about is to reflect upon the endless number of things I know very little/nothing about but that seem to show up in my life, throwing me for a loop on a regular basis.  Lately I am curious about themes like introversion and friendship, particularly where the two intersect.  I am also endlessly fascinated by mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, about what happens when you ask for help but don’t receive it, or when the help you receive does not help at all.

Then again, on the more concrete level, I love to make things with my hands.  I would love to learn more about bookmaking – the old fashioned type that you see at art shows.  I enjoy making my own journals out of scrap leather and parchment paper.  And I enjoy writing in those journals afterward – my own little creation from form to content and everything in between.

These are ideas I am tossing around in my head for the time being. Being both excited and terrified for the project ahead of me, I’m sure I will continue to lay in bed at night thinking about these things.  Stay tuned:)

Brie Winnega

Hey, I'm Brie. I'm an English major who's addicted to reading, writing, and ponytails.

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