Researcher’s “Block”

Most people have probably heard of writer’s block. This comes in a variety of forms: interruption, lack of focus, multiple projects, too many ideas, or procrastination. I personally find the final one the common definition for most college students. As a writer, I stumble into the mind of writer’s block from time to time, which should be expected, and I usually find my way out. Sometimes it takes putting my work away for a time, or perhaps I have to take a broad look at what it is I am writing before I can continue. Thankfully, I was blessed with a worrier’s mind and a proactive spirit to avoid procrastination. In the case of my book, I set myself a goal: finish the “draft” by the end of December 2017. And thus far, I have been keeping in time and even reaching ahead of this goal. But I seem to have hit something I am calling researcher’s “block”.

As of today, I have “finished” my section of Put, or Phut, the third son of Ham. I say that tentatively because I know I will go back at some point and polish my work up. A week ago, I would have written this with excitement, or at least with a sense of accomplishment. Instead, I am here today and I am discouraged. I have been for some time, but I thought if I drew a little, played some guitar, go to a conference (which was awesome, by the way) with my husband, and read a book for fun, I would be able to return to my work with my previous fervor. And yet, I feel lost. Half of the time, especially with this “second” section of my book, I feel like I am walking in circles in my mind. I told my husband last night that it feels like my head is running in circles and it cannot stop. Where do these trails lead? Am I even making sense?

The issue came down to that no matter how much I researched, I could not find the answer I was looking for. It was as though I had hit a dead-end, and far too early for my liking. They always come, but not usually so abruptly. The same was true for this morning as I continued and concluded my writing. The fact is, there is no research. No matter how much I look, no one has done a study on Phut (or Put, the spelling adding to my issues). I am doing it! I told a former professor once that it is frustrating looking for answers when no one has or has been willing to find them. Instead, I am on a one-person team going up against the modern interpretation of history and trying to bring it back to Genesis, as there is no better word, the beginning.

Honestly, it is discouraging. No one has done biblical research on Africa. Phut, after all, was one of the forefathers of Libya in northern Africa. Actually, so little is known about Africa outside of Egypt and Ethiopia. It is as if those two countries, the false “curse of Ham”, and evolution are the only interesting things about Africa to most researchers of various fields.  Of course, part of my goal is to disprove that last “intrigue”. Anyway, beyond these nations, nearly all of the records are absent. Now I recognize that the vast language difference and the prevalence of oral history results in a lack of information. But it is discouraging nonetheless.

So I am hitting a researcher’s “block” today, but I am not finished. There was still information to be found; I still found records that correspond to history as found in the Scriptures. I am put down, but I will finish my work. For I am doing this because no one else has done it and I know it needs to be done. I am doing this to show the unity of mankind. I feel called to write this. In the end, I want to show the harmony between God’s word and ancient history, that we are all truly of “one blood” and that God wants all to come to a knowledge of Him.

Today and this past week I have been discouraged, and yet, I have finished this section so I can now move onto the next. Canaan and his intriguing people are next, and I believe there will be no shortage of information and intrigue with his people.

Hoping for better spirits and blessings to you all,

~Rose

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