…thoughts on and about my PhD journey and beyond…

St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writin...

St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writing. Image via Wikipedia

I’ve had another period of writer’s block, and,  as before it has preceded yet another aha moment.  This time to do with the design of my study.  No matter what the reason, or when it occurs within any writing project, it’s a difficult time.  I was prompted to write this post as a response to Ailsa’s lament on the very subject “Some writing got wrought, and I’m now right on track“.  In many ways though, it is a note to self…

>>Lovely post Ailsa. You’re not alone in this wrestling match with self to transfer the thinking we do in our heads into a written text that may or may not ever be read!!

It’s easy to become defensive in the face of expectations of others, like the examiners and those within the discourses we are writing to, as these invisible voices do take on mythic proportions at times. But I think it’s our own expectations that are at the heart of this struggle.

The struggle to write is understandable when we remind ourselves that we’re not simply transcribing, the very act of writing is an act of thinking out loud. For me, it is the ultimate sense making activity.  Because of this, the struggle for me is not reserved for the final writing stage of the thesis (where you are just now) but has been with me since the beginning. I wrote a blog post about this upon reflection of my confirmation.

One thing that helps me when I get too close to it all, is to remember the wise words from a Winter School some time ago. It was either Brian or Andy who reminded us that “It’s not about being interesting, it’s all about being interested!!”

Put another way (thanks Viv) sometimes in order to write we just need to “put down our clever and pick up our ordinary”.

As well as writing I’m also thinking about analysing my data so I’m looking at lots of ways to represent data visually at the moment.  Here is a word cloud about this blog, via Manyeyes.

word cloud


Comments on: "On writing…or trying to…" (1)

  1. Robyn Ward said:

    Heather, you captured and articulated how I feel about this task of writing. While I write a journal most days, it’s not quite the same as most of that content will not necessarily be examined or seen by others. My goal of writing a reasonable paragraph a day sometimes emerges as a reality but there are some days where the activity in my head precludes me from writing. Thank you for sharing your feelings on this subject.


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