Finding confidence

I have a bad habit of second-guessing my topic in the middle of writing. I’ll spend an hour working on the introduction and framing, and then as I write the body I start feeling like my argument is completely wrong, that I’m missing a crucial aspect, or that my topic is irrelevant and what I actually want to talk about is something else. The outcomes of this tendency have varied throughout my writing career. I experienced this while writing a paper about the movieĀ Get OutĀ last week, and I ended up adding an additional point onto my main argument and message of the paper. Sometimes, I figure it’s way too late to change and I go through with my original plan–sometimes that leads to me writing a sub-par piece, sometimes I find new strength in my original point.

A few times, I’ve completely scrapped what I had up to that point and started over. I did that in this class a couple months ago after I had already turned in an extensive proposal and started my research for a different project idea. Somehow, I’ve come back here: I’m supposed to be turning in this project in the next two days, even presenting it at the showcase tomorrow, but I’m feeling so much doubt about whether it means anything and if I’m staying on topic. I feel like my project is turning more into about my identities, which was supposed to be one part of my piece but not the main one, and less about the communities themselves and what they mean. But I obviously don’t have time to change my project–how should I balance staying true to my original plan while also staying true to my natural flow of writing?

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