On my relationship with writing

I would like to start this blog by telling about my relationship with writing, and I cannot think of anything better for this purpose than sharing the poster that I presented at IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) pre-conference event in April 2015 in Manchester.

The pre-conference event was organized by Research Special Interest Group within IATEFL and was called ‘Developing as a Researcher’. The event was expected to provide a platform for sharing experiences of, as you may guess, English language teachers and others associated with the field of English language teaching developing as researchers. More information about the event is available here.

By the time the call was issued for submissions for the event, I had already started to see writing as central to doing research and there was nothing else that I wanted to discuss more about my development as a researcher than my development as a writer. I felt that I had a story to tell and I prepared and later presented a poster turning to probably one of the most popular genres of visual story telling – a comic strip. Here the poster is:

arkhipenka-volha-my-journey-as-a-researcher-poster-comic-version

The poster is rather self-explanatory but if you wonder what exactly I was trying to tell through it, here is a video of me presenting it. This was my most spontaneous stage performance done with zero preparation. I am also telling about this poster and the experience of presenting it, having given it more thought, in a short chapter within ebook by IATEFL Research Special Interest Group due to be released sometime next yer.

Nearly two years have passed since I created this poster and looking at it now I cannot but feel amazed by my optimism. In the poster, I claim that I no longer hate writing but instead love it from the depth of my heart. I wonder whether my optimism was due to having successfully completed all the writing assignments that I had to do by then and having not yet really started the next one, which was going to be longer than probably everything in total that I had written by then. 3,000 words that I had written for the thesis (see the last line of the frame in the lower right corner) is not much to make a judgement on.

Nowadays I spend most of my days writing the thesis, and my relationship with writing feels to me more like a marriage. Around four years ago, I said ‘I do’, or rather ‘I will’ meaning ‘I will write this thing’ because it seemed like a nice idea and a cool thing to do and these days I have to bear the responsibility of the choice that I made back then, which was probably not that well thought through as it should have been. Some days I feel that the choice was a really good one and I feel deeply in love with what I do. On other days, I curse myself for having put myself into this.

In general, I think that my marriage with writing is a good one. There are more bright days than gloomy ones. But it is definitely not as perfect and trouble free as the poster may suggest.

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