Meme #2 #WResearcher 2

Now that you have already introduced your research (see Meme #1), we propose you introduce your journey.  Take a minute to consider where you are at now and what brought you here. Look back into your journey of experience, and tell us how you’ve got here:
Tell the story! – Write in plain English! Allow the writing to flow. Let your voice be heard.
Provide the context of your journey: what/who brought you here? 
Tell your audience what fuels your research, what dreams, aspirations (or even life circumstances) have triggered your venture into academia, and how you’ve gone about fulfilling them. 
Share your passion!

Write for a generic audience.  Allow others to enter your world.

Keep your narrative short and rich. Shorter posts are easier to read on the screen; your personal account is what makes readers follow your blog.

You are trying to do something quite particular with this #wresearcher activity; my reasons for joining are not your reasons for starting the process. I don’t think this matters. It’s inevitable. And probably true for all participants. 

I love writing. It is the desire to write that started and makes me continue with academic life. I think through writing. As a child I loved reading and always imagined myself a writer. As an adult I was surprised when I tentatively started an MA to find out just how much I enjoyed it. Now there is just a permanent sense of frustration at not doing more than I do. 
The idea of blogging as a self-referencing public diary limits what I want to do: engage with ideas outside and beyond my experience that have the capacity to transform it. 
BEREITER, C. & SCARDAMALIA, M. 1987. The psychology of written composition, L. Erlbaum Associates.
I have just purchased this book though it is one a read about and have referenced some time ago. It is inconsistent with my preferred theoretical framework for understanding writing – as ‘social’ psychology rather than psychology. But one of the points they make is that while writing is often treated as ‘knowledge-showing’ it should be understood as ‘knowledge-transforming’. The physical act of putting ideas on paper generates new understandings. In writing we make conscious choices about nuances of meaning. We are required to be explicit about our preference for one word or phrase as oppose to another. We have to establish precisely how ideas dis/connect to each other, how they need to be sequenced. We have to decide that is important enough to include / exclude. 
I say this as an argumentative response to absent colleagues who are at time critical of essay writing as a process of merely reproducing what has been read: regurgitating. It seems to me that it is a creative process. No less creative that story telling. Indeed, it is a form of storytelling. All research is autobiography – a story of how and why the researcher has come to understand something in a particular way.
As I read I find my voice becomes caught up with other voices. I sometimes think of writing as similar to painting. That is, I use the voices, ideas, concepts I encounter like colours on an artist’s palate to create new thought shapes. 


  1. Yes, Yes, and Yes! I love the idea ' I think through writing'. I have trying to find a way of expressing that. As I write up my PhD I have realised I know things I did not know I knew. They appear to me as I write. It's almost a miracle. It's like unlocking all that knowledge. It's hidden reflecting brought to the conscious. I wish I had more time to write… the more I do it, the more I like it! 😉

  2. "knowledge showing" and "knowledge transforming" are wonderful phrases to have now living in my head! Alongside that I have copied a phrase from your comment with the link for this post – "I like the idea of exploring the ways in which adults use these same spaces." I knew there was something in that line when I logged on earlier this morning, so I copied a pasted for when I would get here. Now I know why it resonated – I've been invited by all of what you've written to think about being a working class kid in a family that did, yes, for generations sometimes buy lesser quality groceries in order to buy books, and about my Gran and her brother encouraging me to write both at the typewriter (a lovely manual Royal with ebony body and keys against white lettering) AND with pencil in margins, bottoms, tops, backs of pages in order to think with my head and my hands in two different ways. Thank you for writing this – for the doubled gifts of seeing your ideas take voice and of being able to see that girl once and still at a keyboard with pencil in hand.

  3. Hi, I enjoyed reading this. I'm glad someone enjoys writing! I don't, to be honest, but I absolutely agree with the idea that it is 'knowledge-transforming'. Many of my best ideas are generated through writing, and those moments when it all works are sublime. Maybe I should stop thinking of writing as a struggle, and that reminds me of this recent article in the Guardian:

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