On writing

How We WriteWhen I was in high school and undergraduate studies, I used to keep a LiveJournal – pseudonymous and locked, of course, so that only those in my friends circle who also had LJ accounts could access my posts. It was like keeping a diary in plain sight, where I would record my thoughts and feelings and accomplishments and failures, and have a group of sympathetic and supportive individuals cheering me on or sharing my sorrow or indignation, and giving helpful advice and input on situations that frustrated me.

Last week, my friend gave me a copy of How We Write, edited by Dr Suzanne Conklin Akbari, and it reignited my drive to write non-fiction – both often and online.


However, in the seven or so years since I have ceased regular blogging on LJ, the online blogosphere has changed from protected epistolary to thoughts that are out of place in the meme-proliferation on Facebook, fragmented by Tweets, or lost to the vastness of Tumblr, ever to be seen again. My friends don’t use LJ anymore, and it seems that the price for access to a social media community means putting one’s work out there for everyone to see, warts and all. It makes me deeply uncomfortable, as someone who goes through upwards of five drafts of any research paper, and it’s only the last two that remotely resemble the finished product.

LJ was a safe space, where I didn’t have to worry overmuch about the impressions I was making on my readers, as they were all good friends, and so self-censorship wasn’t part of my online writing process. I learned that later, with the aforementioned social media, and as a writer and editor for Paper Droids; sometimes, if you can’t say anything nice, it’s better not to say anything at all.*

I hear on the grapevine (aka from innumerable memes) that being uncomfortable means you’re growing and learning. I am not positive that is correct, as I was extremely introverted as a young person and so nearly anything that did not involve sitting alone with a book drove me to discomfort, but nonetheless, I’m willing to bite the bullet.

I’ll be updating this space once a week (or so goes the plan), with bits about my research process, the books I’m looking at, my thoughts on said books, useful websites, and interesting articles that I find inform my own thinking.**

tl;dr: got a book, am motivated to record my research process sort of, we’ll see what happens, I want to update this space at least once a week

*And so balancing the critical mindset that my English and especially Gender Studies training has endowed me with the desire not to rock the boat (death threats and actual death are in vogue as the result of women speaking their minds these days, and I’m not particularly enthused about either) can be a tricky business.

**All content that hopefully sheds a bit of light on what it is that I’m actually doing with my life.

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