What if I wrote as much as I read?

This is the thought that hit me the other day.  I've been cramming my brain pretty steadily now for, well... gosh... 10 months since I began my graduate work!  Journal articles, books, reviews, meta-analyses, conference proceedings... oh my!

Don't read me wrong here - I love it.  I adore it.  I really do!  It's like a giant game where you try to trace the ideas and the arguments to who said what and when as a result of what and why.  Make sense?!

My qualitative methods professor - while not the most organized professor I've ever had - helped me truly grasp what sifting through literature was.  "Imagine you have just entered a room filled with people all talking about your topic (or your topic-adjacent). Be quiet... and listen to what they are saying!  You can't jump into the conversation without knowing what they're talking about."  Boom - I instantly understood why I have to read so much.

At the same time he was telling us that we needed to be writing alongside our reading, taking notes, reflecting, making connections between texts and ideas.  This - I thought - was a complete waste of time.

Fast forward to me the night before the first draft of my research paper was due... sitting in the middle of a pile of articles and books trying to remember who said what... and when!

I've gotten a little bit better with the re-introduction of Evernote into my life.  Now I can drop PDF copies of the articles I'm reading (or am going to read) and jot down quick notes within the note for referencing later.  It's a step in the right direction. ;)

Back to the point.  I often find it funny how I can lose myself while reading for hours and hours - and how my mind loves to play tennis with all of the theoretical concepts that are swimming in there - while the act of writing is, um, laborious to say the least?  Then - I thought to myself - what would happen if I wrote for 5 hours a day instead of read for 5 hours a day?  What would that look/feel like?  What would come of it?

Just something I'm ruminating on.


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