Ramblings on Final Paper (Or: Procrastination during Writing)

I am struggling through the writing process of my final paper for my Figure in Film class. While I have had a month to write it, I spent most of the month reading and note taking  – which can be a painstaking, laborious task since my method includes a full read through with pencil and highlighter (if I am reading a photocopied article), then a recapping read to consider the sections I highlighted/underlined (which have different meanings) and then finally, typing up the in-text references with personal comments (in italics so that I can differentiate my words from the author’s). To be honest, this is where my paper usually gets written – in the personal commentary section, since when reading like this, it is with a purpose (a question in mind). USUALLY, as I go through this process, once all the books and articles have been typed up into reading notes, I almost only have to cut and paste my ‘personal notes’ and then clean them up, inster appropriate transition paragraphs, introductions and conclusions.

For some reason, after reading probably way too much for a 20-25 page paper, I am stuck with TONS of personal reading notes, alot of useful material for my thesis and even more interesting anecdotes to be shelved into the recesses of my mind for cocktail parties and ‘professional’ events. Which leaves me in quite a predicament what with Christmas being a mere 3 days away, three days of receiving family and friends, and a hard deadline of December 28th (not to mention my impending 10 hour drive home for Christmas holiday part 2). I am halfway through an editable draft. But as I write each sentence, I am reminded how this is all so explorational. I feel no where near prepared to make any sort of statement other than reiterating what I’ve read, and showing what I got out of it. I know this is an acceptable paper format – especially given the fact that it is a subject that I am only just starting to grasp (even though I spent the whole semester reading about it, discussing it and thinking about it).

So – sitting at the halfway mark, 10 more pages to go to try to string my ideas together in context of the readings I have done both in the class and on my own – I am paralyzed by the fact that I have no specific game or film to ground my ideas in. I can only think of indexicality, its reference to materiality, cinematic images, digital images, movement, spectatorship, figural meaning, and video games. I cannot fathom implicating the ideas I am currently struggling to articulate in any one filmic or gamic experience. I believe I can remain in a purely theoretical sphere, but I question whether or not it actually does my ideas a disservice (especially to an audience that exists outside of my head!).

Guess I should pour a glass of wine, reopen my word documents and keep on rambling. Sometimes being incoherent is better than nothing at all. As I always say, it is much easier to edit bad writing than to stare at a blank screen.

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