It’s Crunch Time, Baby

After conducting seven interviews in three weeks and taking far more photos than I’ll need to complete my project, you’d think I’d be feeling okay, right? A little ahead? Maybe give myself some room to relax?

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I’m way in my head about things! I know exactly what I need to do next, but I’m so worried. What if I start writing up these case studies and discover that I have nothing to say? What if I accidentally mischaracterize someone’s experience? What if I spend all my time worrying and won’t have enough time to create my book by the showcase deadline?

The solution is, of course, to just do something. A big roadblock for me has been transcription: I was hoping to do all of it before beginning to write the case studies, but have since remembered that I am horrific at both listening and typing. Luckily, I recently discovered Descript, a free desktop program that transcribes and cuts audio for you! I’ve been messing around with it all weekend and should have the interviews I want to feature (including my own, which will be conducted tomorrow) transcribed very soon.

Next, I need to crank out these case studies. I want them to read like narrative articles, so I’ve got my first one outlined and have begun doing targeted research for it. I’m surprised by both how many specific resources are out there for me to explore, and how many resources I planned on using have now been rendered irrelevant. Still, I guess I’ll have the rest of my life to explore theories pertaining to adolescent female psychology, right?

For my first case study, I plan on focusing on my interview subject’s escape into the world of comics, struggles with body image both inside and outside her school’s theatre department, and how her newfound internal confidence after adolescence manifests in how she expresses herself through clothing. So far, I’ve been researching fat stigma in theatre and how graphic novels can positively affect teens. I’m nervous about not having enough to say, but I’m writing anyway. What else can I do?

5 thoughts to “It’s Crunch Time, Baby”

  1. Yay for Descript!!! I only had a single hour long interview to transcribe and I was so frustrated by it, so I can only imagine your struggles. As someone who is equally in their head about their own project, I’m here to remind you that you have over a month left to work on your project. Yes, crunch time, crank out those case studies, but also take time to breathe. Don’t let this passion project become too academic; your passion is what makes it amazing!!

  2. I’m in the same boat of knowing exactly what comes next, but being so afraid to start. That fear is probably inherent in working with interviews, because it isn’t just ourselves we’re presenting. I plan on verifying all the information I use from the interviews with the subjects to avoid things being taken out of context. Also, transcription is such a huge undertaking, way to go with the problem-solving! I can’t wait to see the amazing developments you make over the next few weeks.

  3. As someone who also constantly worries about everything, I can completely relate to this! I really like how you’ve shifted and just started doing things instead of allowing yourself to get swallowed up by your worry. You seem like you’re on a great path!

  4. I always have to remind myself that you sometimes just have to push forward, regardless of all the roadblocks. Frustrating enough, sometimes an individual’s best work comes out of these moments. Surely, this will be the case for you. But I also think you bring up a good point about things like this: there is a tendency to push so much that we forget that some days, we can just…relax. I’ve been trying to tell myself that taking a couple hours to myself is a lot better than feeling burnt out when when I’m trying to relax. You’ve been doing the work. Take your time with it, now.

  5. Brooks, you’re crushing it. Reading about everything that you have accomplished is crazy…try to focus on that aspect instead of how much you still have to do. Celebrate the small victories along the way because you deserve it! I’m sure that anything you write is going to be incredible and so uniquely you that I agree, just sitting down and starting to write is the best thing that you can do for the project right now. I’m in a feminist practice of oral history class right now and we have talked a lot about misrepresenting other people’s words/actions/thoughts by imposing our own biases on them. We discussed that sending transcripts/analyses back to the participants for clarification and confirmation is a good way to ensure you don’t do that. It might add more work to your plate, but if it will give you peace of mind you could try it! (Also, thanks SO MUCH for the tip about descript…I currently have an hour and a half long interview that I need to transcribe lol).

    Jess

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