Exhibit A is the pile of books (some from the local library, some from my personal library) that will be resources for the paper I'm writing on the Vicksburg Campaign of 1862-1863.
Exhibit B is the pile of readings that will be resources for the paper I'm writing on the threat to national security posed by cyberwarfare (incidentally, can someone please figure out whether it's "cyberwarfare" or "cyber warfare" or "cyber-warfare"?!?).
Take a second and consider the differences between the two images.
Did your immediate response sound something like, "Gosh, it seems like there are an awful lot of books in the first picture compared to the puny pile of mostly hand-scribbled notes in the second picture!" Yeah, I said pretty much the same thing when I actually looked at everything piled up on my desk. Such is the difficulty in writing on a topic of current interest that lacks authoritative research vs. a topic that has entire library shelves devoted to a single battle.
Just for fun, here's a picture of my handwritten notes for my paper on cyberwarfare (and no, I can't figure out why Blogger isn't allowing me to rotate the image):
Can someone please tell me why I keep choosing to study a topic that no one else seems interested in writing authoritatively about? It's becoming increasingly difficult to recycle my own material and still make it seem fresh. Seriously, when I have to run out to the bookstore to grab the one copy available of a book that was just published last week so that I can have an actual book in my bibliography, what does that say?
I'm starting to seriously reconsider my area of focus. Maybe I should just get my M.A. in military history instead of cybersecurity policy?
I need a pep talk, stat!!