Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Long and Winding Road

In the early stages of conception for my paper I, like many people, had no idea what to write about. Even in the middle stages of conception when things we supposed to be more solidified and serious, I found myself wondering how I was going to put my ideas together. Everyone else was coming up with themes of feminism or some other interesting topic that tied their favorite book to Alice in Wonderland. I quickly chose the topic of a biographical comparison simply because I couldn't think of anything else. I always had the thought “I'll change it later when I think of something better.” After a while though, it didn't seem like I was going to think of anything better.

As we were nearing the point when we would have to begin our research, I found myself feeling like I was “settling” for my topic. I wasn't passionate about it, and I had no real interest in it, it was simply all I had. Then, one day we had the assignment to go back through our favorite book and re-discover why it was that we ever liked it to begin with. As I did this I found so many similarities I would have never thought possible. My original thoughts of “Why on earth did I choose Watership Down? It has nothing to do with Alice in Wonderland!” quickly changed to “Watership Down was the perfect choice! The two books are parallel in so many ways!” I never knew that the two books had so much potential for commonality of themes and structure.

So, at this point I had good things to compare. I was still stuck however, on my topic. How would I be able to take these literary elements and tie them into a biographical comparison? Luckily, one of our next assignments answered this question. In the process of getting social proof and feedback from people with various levels of knowledge and background of these two books, I ran across a blog with an enthusiastic review of Watership Down. After asking the author about my ideas, she replied to me with several suggestions and comparisons I could make. She gave me a lot of background and detail about the lives of the book authors and got me really excited to start writing my paper.

I sat down to write my paper with all of this excitement swirling around me and a stack of library books sitting next to me. Then the words started to flow. I chipped away at a task that once seemed so foreboding and insurmountable as I finished page after page. My ideas gelled, and the phrases I wanted to use jumped out of the books on my desk. Two or three peer reviews later, I ended up with a final draft.

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