Sunday, March 04, 2007

Lies and Lying Liars

Whenever I visit my grandfather, at some point he gets this glint in his eye and says, "Well, you know, historians are all just liars anyway. They make things up."

No kidding.

I'm currently taking the first crack ever at a dissertation chapter. This is quite an undertaking, considering I have no research and only the crudest sketch of a topic. I'm not even completely sure which sources I'll use. But The Advisor said I had to write an introduction to a chapter, so I'm writing an introduction to a chapter I do not have. And I'm making it up every step of the way.

So I've been sitting in this coffee shop for an hour and a half and all the Sunday morning brunchers come and go with their Sunday Times and their lazy weekend routines. And I've written one paragraph. One paragraph in an hour and a half. At this point, it's such a struggle that I feel like I'm having to create each word from scratch. "What would be a good connecting word? You know, something to indicate these things go together? Hmmmm. How about A-N-D? That'll work. Put that down."

Damn. I can't decide, either, whether this is a result of trying to write this long before I'm ready or if it's destined to be this hard every time I write something for the first time. Or maybe it's that I had a cinnamon bun with my coffee and by the time I got to stringing sentences together, I'd completely sugar crashed and am doomed to feel this clueless until I have some protein. Either way, it feels pretty hopeless. I can only hope that when I turn this in to my writing seminar later today (What? I'm supposed to have more than a paragraph 12 hours before I turn something in?) that my fellow historians will recognize a good lie when they see one and make up something to say in response.


Blogger wwwmama said...

This happens to me all the time, except sometimes I only get a sentence out!

11:52 AM  
Blogger Acre said...

Hey, a sentence is one sentence more than no sentences!

I've been known to print preview before I've written a single word. Sometimes, you know, elves will write it for you when you're not looking. I mean, it's never happened to me personally, but I've heard about it.

12:12 PM  

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