As an English major, having to write a lot of essays kind of comes with the territory. Nothing beats that feeling of figuring out an essay topic that you just know is going to be good- but how about those that make you feel kind of nervous and uncomfortable? For one of my classes, the assignment was to read a book then come up with a question about the novel then attempt to answer it in a paper. Coming up with a question that was both challenging and engaging was difficult in itself–and made answering it even harder. My question had no concrete answer, so I felt like I was taking a shot in the dark. In desperation, I wrote and re-wrote various answers until my brain turned to scrambled eggs…then I emailed my professor. All I can say is, it is SO AMAZING to get some reassurance that your writing risk is a good one. She recognized the challenge that I set for myself and appreciated that I was working hard to figure it out…which really validated my choice to choose a risky topic in the first place. In the end, I still have no clue if my paper is “right”…but that extra encouragement to take the risk really reminded me the point of writing. Don’t just take the easy way out and write about something obvious…rather, use writing as a means of figuring out something really difficult (maybe you will even learn something…).