1 year ago for day 364, 2020 with 377 words.

So many topics so little time

One of the hardest parts of writing for me is sitting down and actually deciding what I want to write about that day in that moment. I usually have about a hundred different ideas or topics buzzing in my head at any one time. Is today the day I want to talk about Roman material culture, Eastern European food, fermentation, sourdough, food culture, spontaneously fermented beers....and the list goes on. Well since I once again sat down to write and can't for the life of me decide what the topic is going to be I decided to just write about that very experience of writing paralysis. I know that I am not the only one who experiences this very thing. When I was in graduate school I was often asked to write on specific topics and for a while I was able to produce and crank out seminar papers on different topics related to the ancient Mediterranean archaeology, history, and art history. As I was writing these seminar papers I would always be thinking in other parts of my brain what else I could be writing about if I wasn't simply an ancient historian writing for a very small and selected audience in the academy. I always wanted to bring the world of ancient history into the public discourse here in the US. I wanted to show the public just how flawed and uncertain our picture of the ancient world is and how important it is to question the things you read in history books. Almost every sentence you read in a book on any topic of the ancient world is a supposition or interpretation of the author or other authors that are trying to understand and reconstruct the past with their scholarship. For many historians it is very easy to make claims about how the ancient Romans or Greeks lived and the type of world they lived in. It is much harder to explain to your reader just how much liberty you are taking when formulating your own arguments that are based on other people's arguments of what the ancient world looked like and felt like to the various individuals that make up the "Romans" and "Greeks" we so often read and make assumptions about.

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