As I’m waiting for my breaded artichoke and broccoli thingies to heat up, I thought I’d write a bit. And that is the one thing I need to do more of: writing to think, rather than thinking and not writing. I met with Lisa today regarding my thesis, and after I explained my sense of the whole issue (religion in the writing classroom) and how easily I felt I was and could get caught up far afield and not keep my thesis focused enough — and end up finishing it in 2020 — and, like this sentence, never getting to the end — and how much I wanted a sense of direction so that that dispersion wouldn’t happen… She wrote down this simple mantra for me:
Your writing will teach you what you need to know and do.
That is SO what I need to remember. As I sat there talking with Lisa, I flashed back to all the academic papers I’ve written in my life (more than I should admit — since I took 6 years to do my BA, did 18 credits of MA work in the 1980s, took 5 years to do my MDiv, did one seminar of doctoral work (in theology), and am now back in a new MA program — so lots of academic writing have I done, yes! [I’m hearing Yoda’s voice]). And, anyway, I could see them all lined up down through my history. And in the process of doing each one of them, I thought and thought and thought (and went down interesting but not-specifically-helpful tangents), and craved not to write but to know what I was going to write. And when I finally DID get that plan in my head, glory hallelujah! I was home free. And I was. For me, everything was easy and downhill after that. The writing as easy compared to the thinking.
But the thing is, with a project like a master’s thesis, I have to go deeper, get to it sooner, and stay on track. This project is bigger, deeper, and depends more on my own time-management. So, if I got with my usual way of writing papers, I will think too much, explore too much, and not get anywhere very soon. So I need to WRITE in order to figure out where I’m going (just start writing actual chapters of the thesis as well as simple freewriting and exploring AND meta-writing, writing about where I’m going and how it’s working, etc).
So write write write.
But now I eat.