Ça va . . . (part 2) — Ethan

I’ve written about twelve more pages (bringing the total to 35) summarizing the eleven front-page articles published by the NYT over the course of one month about the Six-Days’ War, while following some crucial themes throughout them all. This section of writing ended up being written differently than the historical section: I wrote for one to two hours each day that I worked on it, as opposed to one long burst of 4-5 hours, and I had it finished in three days

As they are now, I’m not 100% happy with the article summaries. Though I followed through with my intention to go through them one by one, in the order they were published, with a general discussion at the end about what they left the reader with, right now the summaries feel a bit repetitive and clunky. However, it’s difficult to weave too much connection into them because that material would be better suited for the discussion.

In this situation, the first-draft mentality prioritizes creating more content as opposed to refining existing content — for a woodworking analogy, perfecting the article summaries now, in the first draft, would be like fully sanding a piece of wood before I made all the cuts and carved my joints. What that means is I can’t be too attached to perfection at this stage — perfection, or as close as I can get to it, will come on its own in later drafts.

My progress is much the same as it was at the time of my last blog post. I’m still pulling from my outline, which has been incredibly helpful, as all outlines should be, still writing my first draft, and still enjoying the process. One difference is that now I’m beginning to consider options for publishing this paper, which T. Olga and I talked about at the beginning of the semester.

Well, so far, so good, I just need to keep writing — first the discussion on the articles and then the fun part: my very own argument that links the history and media together.



3 thoughts on “Ça va . . . (part 2) — Ethan

  1. aliviathompson

    I can completely relate to the excruciatingly tedious process of research and trying to perfect pieces of writing. It sounds like you’re doing great work, so don’t let the small imperfections and details bog you down. Like you said, the most important part of writing is just getting your ideas down on paper, and eventually, you will end up with a masterpiece. I’m excited to see what you end up with.

  2. kevinwang11

    Hi Ethan,

    When I am writing a paper of some sort, I usually prioritize quality over quantity, which I think is a very bad habit. I agree with Liv that it is less excruciating if you finish the paper first and then perfect it. Best of luck with publishing your work.


  3. tonychenwesttown

    Hi Ethan,

    I totally agree with Kevin and Liv that perfecting a paper at its initial stage can be a painful process. What I would usually do is writing down a general outline and getting all the words down on the paper first. Then I would start refining them by deleting unnecessary and repetitive details. I found that in this way, I usually spend less time but can end up with a better final product.



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