Hear me out. I know this is some kind of St. Joseph’s College blasphemy but I actually miss writing thesis. It sounds strange but it was probably the most fulfilling writing I’ve done yet and will be until the novel I am writing is actually done. Everything about it was stressful but the healthy kind of stress. I woke up every day with a purpose, a goal, a deadline and work in a subject I actually enjoyed. If that is what having a deadline on a novel feels like then I am ready to have a deadline.
I am not just talking about the writing part either. I mean all of it. I miss cataloging all research on index cards, then dividing them into piles of cited and not cited. I think fondly back at pouring over old books in the library, photocopying their pages and underlining in pencil all the parts I need. I still remember the joy I felt when I discovered Evernote’s document camera, where I could photograph whole documents instead of spending all my change photocopying them. Once that happened it was only one update in the app. store later that all the highlighting tools of Evernote’s other app, Stitch, was now implemented into Evernote just when I was running out of documents to cite.
I don’t know if I’ll ever dive as deep into any piece of literature as I did with Macbeth but thinking about it now I sure would like to. I am not a fool, I know this feeling is part nostalgia and part feeling completely and utterly unfulfilled at my lousy part time job. Still, when I saw the thesis topics for 2014 included one for The Lord of the Rings I felt a void in my chest that I wanted to fill.with hours of research, writing and editing. Each day and each week I knew I had a set amount work on it that I need to accomplish. Today I was thinking of thesis and almost said out loud “What if I just start writing one for the hell of it?” I mean, that’s not crazy right? People do that, I know they do. I’ve heard people like Corey Olsen, the Tolkien Professor talk about it.
I am not a fool. We were given seven months to work on thesis. Novel writing may be like that but editorial work definitely does not have that long of a deadline except maybe feature articles which are meant to be much longer. I don’t know if I would feel the same way with shorter deadlines but it has to be better what I am doing now. What I mean by that is compared to Senior Thesis, which basically was my job for me at the time even, what I am currently doing to make money feels meaningless and ultimately makes me unhappy. I’ll take short and stressful deadlines over that anyday.