Você está na página 1de 5

Amanda Hall

Writing a Paper: Uncovering Discoveries about Self

The task of putting pen to paper to develop a literary work from the blank page is like setting out on an archeological dig: it all starts with a vast nothingness, but the potential for uncovering valuable information about self is limitless. The myriad of emotions that either task provokes vacillates between doubt, excitement, fear, curiosity, exasperation, and sometimes painful but triumphant self-discovery. In fact, many a writer may describe traveling through the seven stages of death and dying before a significant work is produced. Self-examination at this level is, at a minimum, a taxing if not grueling undertaking.

Determining the best starting point before tackling an archaeological dig or paper is the first formidable challenge; this is a daunting task that can even frustrate the most consummate professional and calls for time invested in research. Whether its determining where to take the first plunge in an excavation site or that dreaded introduction of a writing piece, research is a necessary precursor to any further effort. Archaeologists spend countless hours scouring documents, maps, and books before they begin their adventure, and the same principle applies to an author staring at a blank paper or computer screen. A writer needs to be confident that he or she can tell a worthwhile story and make a real contribution to the reader,

all of which can only follow from researching credible sources such as academic articles, books, and the internet. Once background research and planning has been completed, both a writer and an archaeologist must devise a written plan of action. An archaeologist constructs a blueprint of the land making it easier to catalog their findings. More importantly, accurate blueprints direct the archaeologist on a location and route to begin digging. Haphazard digging in a monstrous piece of land would be akin to playing Russian roulette, where the opportunities for wasted time, money and resources would be completely unacceptable. A writer needs a blueprint of her or his own as well, and is usually most effective in the form of an outline. A strong, carefully considered outline keeps the writer focused on the task at hand, and eliminates the tendency of some authors to indulge in flowery writing of no substance, or meandering into new topic areas that have no relevance to the literary work. Finally, both the archaeologist and the writer must, at the beginning of their quest, commit themselves to the stamina needed to effectively tackle the job and faith in the benefit of never-ending patience. Each must fully absorb and accept the fact that each step forward can lead to two steps backward before his or her work is complete.

Amanda Hall

Once an archaeological dig is underway, scientists take pain-staking efforts to carefully remove and catalog discovered artifacts so that nothing valuable is damaged in the effort to uncover it. Likewise, a writer has to delicately navigate through a paper. Pitfalls such as reliance upon reckless research, and use of incorrect verb tense, ineffective word choice, and careless, flowery writing all too quickly lose the readers interest and render the piece inconsequential. Each artifact unearthed on an archaeological dig has the potential to lead to even bigger discoveries and ultimately change the way people look at history and the world. The artifacts of writing are paragraphs and as each is constructed, critiqued and rewritten, the next paragraph has more promise. Writers are challenged to reject the temptation to pound out a paper, forsaking quality for expeditiousness. Each paragraph must be approached by the writer as a significant block of writing in and of itself, and can only then lead to further meaningful, interesting blocks of writing to charm the reader. Well-composed, thoughtful paragraphs can only be achieved through thorough elimination of excess, over-inclusive information and a concerted effort to unfailingly follow the purpose of the piece, connecting each idea to the next in a piece that is meaningful and follows a natural flow that is easy to read. This phase of unearthing ideas, dinosaur bones, or paragraphs is often littered with failures, as costly digs result in nothing and a multitude of crumpled up paper makes its way to the trash can. The value of failure cannot be underestimated

however, as nonproductive doors are closed and new pathways are opened in the continual search for quality. Failure is inherently valuable in research and writing when given credit for the lesson it provides. A truthful concession that a piece simply isnt working and the resultant revisit of the work will eventually lead to a better product. Facing failure in writing or scientific research can be demoralizing and unashamedly drain a writer/archaeologist both physically and mentally, but new, successful discoveries provides new invigoration and the energy to continue.

The discovery of ancient artifacts can forever change the way the world is interpreted by providing a better understanding of history; however, the archaeologist reaps the greatest reward in new discoveries of self while struggling through labor-intensive, time consuming, mentally challenging, and inspiring digs. Creating a piece of writing that captivates readers is rewarding as well, but is most valuable to the author who has invested every part of himself or herself in the work. In each case, the journey of creation or accomplishment is as important as the finished project for both the writer and the scientist. Unfortunately, an easy journey is simply not as meaningful, dynamic or important as a difficult one. The writer or scientist should feel wrung out, like a tattered dish cloth pulled through the knot hole of an old oak tree, because he or she has invested so much of self into

Amanda Hall

the work. Then the author or archaeologist can sleep soundly in the knowledge that he or she has worked at the project with all of his or her heart.