At long last, after weeks of not blogging, I’m proud to say that I officially have approval to continue my Independent Research Project into next semester! Just as before, I will continue editing my work with the guidance of my fabulous mentor, Robert Whitehill. By the end of the project, I plan to have approximately 80 pages of finished work, both of my creative writing and notes/advice from my mentor.
In my last post, I mentioned that a committee of faculty and classmates would be sitting down with me to talk about my writing after they read my final project of 43 pages. Overall, the discussion went well and I received a lot of great feedback from each of the committee members. While there are many pieces working well in my project, there are still some holes in its foundation and logistical components that need adjusting.
Although I am not discouraged by their evaluations, I’m admittedly a little “unsettled” by them, for lack of a better word, and was more affected by the sit-down than I thought I would be. At the end of the discussion, I found myself asking the same questions they were asking me, only to draw a blank at the places where I originally thought I had answers. Perhaps it was my nerves from hearing these first reviews that has shaken me up and caused me to second guess myself and my ideas, but whatever the case, I know for sure that this sit-down will not be the last.
If anything, discussing my writing with other people has helped me realize that there are still parts of my starting block that I need to better understand for myself before I can better show them in my work. I’m determined to continue editing my book, to keep evaluating it and pushing myself to become a better writer. Even if my end dream of having my novel published doesn’t happen, I know all that I’ve done won’t be in vain. After seeing myself come so far in this project, I’ve made major improvements, learned a lot about myself as a writer, and have brought myself to a whole new level. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve created a stepping stone that can lead me in any direction I choose to take my writing.
More simply put, its my love and determination for writing that has carried me through the first semester and will continue to support me into the next. The game plan for now is to move forward with my book, working on five pages at a time while incorporating what I’ve learned from the first draft. Once I’ve made some headway in that direction, my mentor and I will circle back around and see what new insights I have in improving the beginning 43 pages accordingly. At the same time, I will be charting out and re-examining the foundation of my book, including the setting, the society, and the characters. I have faith that my next final project will be twice as good as the last and am looking forward to sharing my work with the committee again.
Get ready for round two and stay tuned!