snippet from Senior Thesis
Senior Thesis
Day 1
Wednesday, June 28 2017

Today I decided to begin the habit of writing one page per day. My goal is to overcome the issues I have had (since beginning college) with writing paralysis. If I get in the habit of just writing a page per day then when it comes time for me to really do the nitty gritty written work for my thesis, I will be able to just crank out pages. One day at a time. Of course open writing like this is a lot easier than organized writing for a long term project--writing that demands ideas and organization. However, my first priority is to just build ideas and content. I can worry about the specifics of the structure or argument later.
One thing I have noticed in my time at Georgetown is that it's much easier to write a paper the more pages I already have written down. I suppose by then I have more of a sense of what still needs to be said and the amount of space I still have to say those things. Beginnings are hard. But they're also beautiful--they're what we're looking for after all, new beginnings. Maybe that's what's wrong with the world (or part of it). We know we need to fix things, to change what our world looks like, but we cannot help but be paralyzed in the face of the sublime enormity of it all. We're like Eveline at the docks--uncertain and stunned in the face of what might be or what could be--to the point that we do nothing.
Paralysis, Gnomon, and Simony were the three words of Joyce's Dubliners--the three big lessons of that book (according to Prof. Parsons). Gnomon and Simony have their uses (I like Gnomon quite a bit), but it's paralysis that stuck with me. Eveline stuck with me, but also Mr. Duffy from "A Painful Case"--the man with all the big ideas and dreams (and the big ego to match) but who can't quite manage to write any of them down. He sure sounds familiar.
So consider today--consider this page--the first day of a new me. Relearning how to love writing--to be in awe of it but to not be so afraid of it. Or to be afraid of it (a good kind of sublime afraid), but to be braver than that--to have the confidence and the fire to move on in spite of it all. Because that's what the world needs--it needs people moving on in spite of the enormity of what we're heading into.
Plus, people like what I write. People who read what I write tend to think I'm pretty cool and interesting, but so far I have only shown my writing to a few people. It's time to show yourself to the world Katie Hyland, time to tell them what's up and what's down.


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