As the semester starts to wrap up I am kicking it into high gear! I have one last article to work through for the semester and then I will be editing and writing the rest of the time. I have over 50 pages but they aren’t cohesive. I plan to work on these and write a few more scenes to end with 15-30 cohesive pages.
I think that working from the middle or the main plot points is what will be helpful. I will be looking through my outline and choosing to two points and trying to write everything that connects them. Might do this twice depending on the length so I will either have two sets of 15 pages (or so) that are cohesive or one long 30 page cohesive project.
I will also start flushing out my lit review. I have notes on each of my sources and why they are important, etc. Now I just need to put it in narrative form and flush it out a little more.
It was a nice week off, but now it is officially crunch time!
I have been contemplating adding illustrations to my work, but am still working out the mechanics of formatting, consistency, and continuity. However, here are some VERY rough sketches of what I have (there’s about 30 pages of these but I’ll be reserved with what I include here).
My decision to include visual elements to this project comes from my YA Lit. course, being that a great deal of the stories that are so formative to my professional wrestling journey, that I intend to include here, would be heavily aided by such.
It feels like it’s been a month since the last update. In the past two weeks, I’ve been reading through my research and trying to figure out what would help most. I made a presentation to dive further into my thesis in progress. I finally know what I’ll be reading when I share a reading.
My next steps are to keep finding sources and writing more. I’m hoping that the research can also give me ideas to help the story more. I want the novel to be as realistic as possible but also it’s not going to be real enough that it could happen in real life.
This week has been one most unavoidable, as it just happened, it just went on by. I did a good amount of writing, I know that, but none of it feels like it is on par with my usual (well, I’m starting to doubt what is my usual anymore) status, my usual state of being. I am struggling to write about new ideas, and most of what I am doing seems to circle back to the same exact topics, the same exact stories, and the same exact spiral.
I have been a bit moody, notably. I notice this when other people call me out on it, and it makes me feel like an ass – I do not like to bring a room down. I do not like to know that I am down, and I do not like to be down. Despite my sardonic and harsh nature of speak … I am a bit of a shortened Richard at times, I like to come from a place of love, even if tough, or brutish. I am really struggling to convey new ideas with writing. At least comparatively-so.
I do not feel like I am superbly at the state of consistency that I uphold myself to. If I am being at all honest in the slightest, I cannot point my finger on what a consistent me is anymore. A good chunk of big bursts I have crammed and forced in the name of I have to do the thing, but where is my passion, where is my grit, where is my soul?
I am in some sort of boredom state, I have to be, and that is a wired needle swimming throughout my fleshy brain. I need something new to rejuvenate my spirit. Is it academic? I think no, but perhaps that can guide me there. This is not a situation that I would call dire where I’ll hunt out some therapist for hire – I gack – not will it eviscerate my entire fire.
But I am dimly lit.
There is something that I feel a door of embarrassment around, something that I want to avoid and can’t really let out. Something that I am in doubt that I will catch, something that I doubt is looking hard enough to catch me. I have written and rewritten, and drawn and droned upon recollections of my past, but progress just ain’t coming past in a way that feels fast. Excitement and passion are all aflown – is that even a word, the duck do I care – and I am simply doing by. I am simply being am.
Do I need a clean slate? Do I need to be caught? Is this a guarded battle to be won, or even fought? What do you make of all of this? Because I really don’t know.
This past week was exhausting to manage, as Halloween is the closest to a “big deal” holiday that I celebrate – it is actually the only one that I do, celebrate. The lords of darkness or whatever deserve respect too, y’know. ANYWAY, I went to a New Japan Pro Wrestling show in Time Square this past week, and it was … pretty mid. The card was to be a surprise sorta thing, which I thought was to fit into the Halloweek theme that was advertised for the show, but it was really just an excuse to have a few of their big names on the card, and then just a bunch of American indie guys. It was absolute filler, which is a shame because NJPW is kinda-sorta the big gold standard of the craft, and I didn’t REALLY get the NJPW experience live. That would have been extremely important to me, and to a specific chapter that I want to include in my thesis. Oh well, ya gotta adapt.
I do have second row seats to a massive AEW show this month, so that will probably be the best experience ever, and be one that deepens my appreciation for the physical toll of professional wrestling, and how physical language is such a pivotal part of the conviction of this craft.
I almost finished a chapter, it just needs some tweaking and a revision, but I’m excited to move onto the next one, which I think could either be a breeze or a challenge. I’m debating either writing about the history of the art-sport or a fragment of my journey with it – or maybe even something random from my bullet point list of topics. Just anything to further spark my movement for this project, because a body in motion … may get hit with a dropkick every once in a while but if you’re not willing to keep moving than you’re down for the three count, y’dig?
Use the next few weeks remaining in this semester to surge ahead (with self-discipline and determination) and set small (modest) goals to keep momentum along the way. Keep working on your individual goals. Some of you have really hit a stride and just need to keep up with the exploration and writing you have been doing, and some of you will recalibrate and switch the process up a bit, shifting from research to writing (or the other way around), in order to approach other aspects of the overall vision.
You should be building on some momentum now. Lean into this, and let the words and work flow. This is the time to be writing without constraint…generating significant content.
At this stage, it also makes sense to consider your Lit Review as it stands. Identify any important gaps…and be prepared to address any gaps you think you might have. How does your research inform your process of producing new knowledge?
Also, I want you all to think about setting up end-of-semester benchmarks or goals.
Thanks to Kefah for her meaningful reading of her poems, which form the foundation of her thesis. And thank you for introducing the rest of the team to grounded theory methodology. I think this approach can be a compelling way to frame this project, opening up a new theoretical lens on the experience of being Palestine-American writer. Your method centers memoir and the poetic voice, while offering a more nuanced vision of both historical oppression and collective trauma. In tracking/mapping/coding patterns of language/tropes/themes you will start to see a specific argument, and I suspect that argument will have to do with nature of power in the act/impulse of representation itself. I am so excited about this work coming together!
I will see you all next week, and I look forward to hearing from both Chelsea and Edna. Keep going, blog your progress, and I will keep up with you reports here!