People always roll their eyes at me when I say that, but it’s the truth. I get EXCITED when I have a new project to research. I love the process of scouring the internet and libraries for the background information I need. I love wearing out all my highlighters, scribbling lots of notes in the margins, and marking the important things according to a star-rating system that is far from systemic. I love introductions, setting you up to play a specific part in this narrative I have created–the part of the believer. I love drawing you in and walking you through my argument step by step, with you trailing me faithfully, drinking in my every word and falling farther and farther into belief. I love MS Word’s Readability Statistics, switching up sentence structure, thinking of fancier words when the mood strikes, and treating every sentence–no, every phrase–like a miniature work of art. You know those pictures that are made from lots and lots of smaller pictures, but as long as you’re standing at a reasonable distance you can’t tell anything but the overall picture? That’s sort of how I treat writing a paper–I spend lots of time crafting every little part, but in the end I want you to miss the trees for the forest (though I will be very pleased if you stop to comment on particularly beautiful trees). I don’t want to sound like a future lonely old academic when I say this, but I find the whole process of writing a paper to be incredibly comforting. It is predictable and familiar and somehow feels…safe. It feels a little like home. Perhaps it’s just the safety of knowing it’s something I do well.
She feels the same way I do, it seems:
“Most times when people talk about losing yourself, it has a negative connotation: the overworked girlfriend who lives at her job, the head over heels friend whose made her man her life. I consider those kinds of loss to be falling. To dwell in a state of calm in what you love, so much so that you disappear and there is only passion, that- is losing yourself. And after a week of not opening the file, my professor forced me to click on the file and I dwelled there. Any hesitation I had about the future was gone when I was writing. What I was putting together stopped being a paper or a grade, it became a refuge. And whenever I was in that place, I was putting together something that felt like it was more than my problems, insecurities and doubts.” — Leslie Pitterson, Clutch Magazine