Felting together

I feel like it is worth putting a little marker down where I am at the moment with my writing (perhaps more accurately described as my ‘not writing). I feel quite positive.

I feel positive not because I can point to a body of work which is done, not because I have some new idea, and not because I know where I am going. I have a sense of how I might be trying to go about getting somewhere… at least for the moment.

Working (very slowly) on a PhD thesis for examination is in some ways a task which suits what I like quite well. Perhaps it is easier to be positive sitting by a window on a rainy weekend morning writing this blog post instead of getting on with the thesis. I do know that this leisurely pace of life I have adopted will have to change if I want to have anything to show for the past few years.

That said, I like that I am challenged to ultimately put forward a text that plays by the rules enough for others to be able to engage with. Yes, I find it very difficult to work out what gaps can be left and what threads to spin. I do not want to find a fenced path to follow just yet, but conventions and the legacy of the decisions I make do carve out more and less traversable terrain into the future. One day this document will (hopefully) be finished. While I can see the value of having shaped a path of some use beyond that particular document and the time I spent writing it, such a consideration is not at the forefront of my reflections.

I like that, although I get to be the author, supervision and being part of a student cohort means I am never thinking only with my own reactions to things. In particular, conversations and sharing work means that this occurs in a a socially mediated way that, at its best, allows all of us to ‘talk back’ to each other and so maybe even challenge how we interpret each others words.

My sense of where I might be trying (at least for the next week or two) to go with my writing, and how I might try to get there, has been facilitated by other people. This sense did not just spring forth from some sort of realisation and it was not constructed from a careful reading of a ‘how to’ guide;

it has been felted together from ideas, realisations, experiences, advice, instructions and many stories. Other people have helped me so far in providing the pressure and agitation, but also in not letting those earlier fibres float away.

With that predictable craft metaphor out of the way, it is time to go and write another outline.

(written 17/03/13)



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