I value eloquence, but there are times when the words stop arranging themselves. Instead, they stay in syllable form, sitting like coffee foam on top of my breath, hanging out somewhere deep inside my lungs. Naturally, you have to cough to get them out, and then it’s just not pretty.
I have tried so hard to get my thesis argument down to a bulleted outline form for months. My efforts to whittle the ideas that wow my mind to explainable concepts that the rest of the world can understand include:
- Drawing big pictures
- Drawing small pictures and assembling them so they make big pictures
- Color-coordinated notes
- Writing on my windows*
- writing on my mirrors*
*side note: for the official record I finally bought big white board, so I’ll probably ease up on the windows/mirrors writing.
I articulated a step-by-step argument for the first time at about 6:30am today–with pen and half sheet of paper I found in my purse (gotta write when the inspiration strikes). It felt good, but the coffee foam stutter returned at 5pm as I sat in Prof. Elphick’s office trying to explain how much eschatology, a rejection of feminist theology, the garden of eden, secularization, and the millennial generation have in common and how I am going to be able to pull it all together in like 90 pages.
Other recent incarnations of the coffee foam stutter include:
- use of 1,500 words to express a tweetable idea
- loss of melodic conversational tone
- over edit/under edit tidal waves (i.e. should have read that email one more time, could have sent that one right away)
For the record, I hope this illness passes like a head cold and gets out of me in a couple days, because, in the meantime, it’s really killing me.