Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Why this blog exists

"In writing a problem down or airing it in conversation we let its essential aspects emerge. And by knowing its character, we remove, if not the problem itself, then its secondary, aggravating characteristics: confusion, displacement, surprise."
Alain de Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy
I don’t find it difficult to write. I sit down, either with pen or keyboard, and it just comes out. It may not be particularly refined in terms of style or grammar, but the ideas are all there to be massaged into shape later. So when I recently started writing an abstract for a symposium about my doctoral research, I was faced with an uncomfortable realisation; academic writing is a completely different beast to other writing.

I often return from a meeting with my supervisor, where I have delivered a confident summary of my topic and research plan, and hover a pen over a blank piece of paper for the rest of the afternoon. I've also found I'm able to articulate my research to non-academics, in plain English, yet I write such convoluted, inaccessible waffle I often can't read it myself a couple of days later.

To counter this, I'm trying to:
Tape record myself in meetings and when I give talks;
Explain progress to friends via email;
Discuss ideas as they develop with different audiences (hence the blog).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting! Congrats miss zoe. u have maintained the depth of our adolescences - I havent gone through all your writings ... but your focus and attentive excavaition towards the non-tangible... is very different from either my personal experience or that which I see around me in friends.
Of course I remember your parents are artists. As the 14 year old I knew you were too. Twice that in time now you still are, tell me how are you and how have you come to where you are? Do you have any info on Jesse or Trey?
Wishing u the best and proud of your obvious talent...
ginny
ginnycoddou@yahoo

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