Challenge Journal – I need to know everything

Hello all,

I hope you’re all having a wonderful spring break!

On another note, I’m currently reflecting on the writing challenge I’m facing now: I feel like I need to know everything. I get in this habit of thinking about how I am going to make the points I want to make in my paper, and I lose sight of my topic completely. I do this by contemplating the points I’m making and then doubting that my research combined with my own analytical abilities will give me anything substantial to work with. I do this because when I lose sight of my topic, I assume that my job as a writer is to inform everyone in the entire world of the exact answers to all the world’s questions around my topic. With this mindset, I feel unprepared and inadequate.

In order to stop overestimating my role, I am attempting to focus on how interesting I find my own research. Because we are generally writing for people of equal intelligence and with comparable knowledge of our topics, it’s easier to see how my contributions can be valuable to others when I think about how they are valuable to me. I don’t need to scavenge through thousands of entire books and synthesize them to solve the world’s questions in order to be compelling and insightful.

As Ray reminded me in our last class, sometimes you just have to pause and ask the basic questions. In my case, that is, “Why are they wearing that?,” which is interesting enough to me.

One thought to “Challenge Journal – I need to know everything”

  1. Hi Lauren! I relate to this a lot after this past week of writing. I do the exact same thing, I start to get so caught up in how MUCH info there is out there. I then start to stress about how I’m possibly going to tie it all together and say absolutely every piece of what I want to talk about. With a big project like this it’s easy to get in the mentality of “Yeah I have so much freedom, I can write about everything I want to!” But like you said, that can be terrifying because even with the freedom of an entire capstone project there still isn’t enough room to answer every question. I like your idea of keeping it simple. I need to remind myself to do that more often as I’m writing.

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