Yesterday I wrote about a dilemma that has arisen in the project I’ve been working on the past couple of weeks. This morning I am returning to that project with some anxiety, and I’m wondering whether writing about the situation will help alleviate that anxiety or increase it.
Perhaps I should write about the Golden Globes and the debacle of Ricky Gervais’s second stint as host. He probably won’t be asked back.
Alternatively, I could note how uninspiring I find the topic prompts that WordPress is providing for their PostADay Challenge. But I have plenty of things to write about without external prompts, so that would just be uncharitable. Perhaps as Gervais demonstrated, stream of consciousness is not always a good idea.
The challenge I’m confronting with the paper is that an edit that would keep it brief and to the point would make it seem utterly trivial, whilst following the various possible threads that are emerging would take forever and turn the essay into a book. Time constraints prohibit the latter. And well … professional pride, I suppose, makes the former less than appealing.
So what, then, is the third way?
I’m reminded of my dissertation director’s suggestion long ago: “One idea for an article, half an idea for a conference paper.” Surely I can come up with half an idea.
In fact, I think the thing to do here is to focus more on suggesting the avenues I don’t have time to flesh out in this version of the paper. That will also set up a series of topics that I can come back to and complete in stages.