Category Archives: PhD
Z is for… Zen in the Art of Writing (Ray Bradbury) (Book)
The last of my two last A-Z challenge posts – my other post this morning was about zombies and I think I feel like one now (next year I WILL complete most if not all of my blog posts before hand and schedule them – I will also pick a much easier and shorter topic – sorry so many posts including this one have been up a little late – what can I say I’m busy!).
Anyway the Z post for my PhD challenge is a review of another book on writing by a writer.
This is one of my early purchases and it was inspired by seeing someone’s signature line with the quote:
‘You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.’
For Ray writing was seen as a tonic or cure to the stresses of everyday life – to not write was to die.
I’m guessing he may have been a pantser type by this quote: ‘In quickness is truth. The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for a style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping.’
‘The problem for any writer in any field is being circumcised by what has gone before…’
Is this an unhealthy relationship maybe within writing?
I’m going to enjoy this series of essays – he also recommends Dorothea Brande’s Becoming a Writer which I recently bought.
The zen part is about relaxing into your writing work – I love this quote which is very very OT – ‘So, stand aside, forget targets, let the characters, your fingers, body, blood and heart do.’
I’m hoping to do some more fiction writing soon – how about you?
A-Z over and out.
Y is for… Your story too
In this world we often feel alone and until we hear other people’s stories we might continue to feel that way.
I have spoken to a number of PhD students and soon began to realise that my sense of confusion in trying to determine my direction was not completely unique.
Today I attended the PGR conference (Post Graduate Researcher) at work and presented my poster – I shared the abstract for it in my B post and below is how it looks printed in the abstract booklet.
The graduate school offered to print the posters but for one reason or another I didn’t manage to get my poem ready on time. I decided to ask if I could be a little more creative with my poster – go old school and hand make it. I was a little anxious about doing so but thankfully I had positive feedback, including a mention by the keynote speaker who was talking about public engagement. So I’ve decided to share it here with you in the hopes that you might recognise aspects of the story and not feel so alone. Scroll down for a brief review of the process of making it if you are interested (click on the image to zoom in).
The poster is made from four pieces of A3 watercolour paper hole-punched and knitted together with wool (with extra tape on the back). This symbolised the bringing together of lots of ideas into a whole. The title indicated the format, circles (in purple pastel mixed with water and lavender acrylic) with square 1 in the middle. Blackness shows the frustration. The fact that I used gold paint made me use the image of prospecting in the poem. The circles didn’t quite reach to the edge on the left hand side so I made a gold ‘book spine’ for my circular PhD story.
When I cut out the lines of the poem there were too many to fit in single lines so I grouped them. Most are in the top half of the circle symbolising the period of confusion start on the outer circle, read the top line and the line below – move round that circle and then back to the next circle).
I decided to spread the rest out at the bottom – as I started to see the light and find my direction.
Looking at the poem itself I had fun especially when talking about the different methodologies I’ve explored. I also used the bookish links because of my creative writing topic focus.
It’s not perfect but I think it reflects how I was feeling at the time – I also enjoyed playing with the glue gun and laminator.
Just one more post left to go on Zen and the Art of Writing.
So does any of this resonate as your story too?
X is for… X doesn’t mark the spot
Completing qualitative research isn’t a search for a universal truth but a contextual one.
It also isn’t a simple case of turning the page and finding the answer staring back at you.
It’s more like an x-ray – which needs reading and interpreting.
Or even exploring a treasure map with a number of ‘x’s to mark many spots.
It is the qualitative researcher’s responsibility to document full, rich description to allow the consumer of research to analyse similarities to and differences from their own context and make appropriate judgements based on clinical reasoning.
So, to link up with my other X post for today my catchphrase won’t be the X-Files ‘The Truth is Out There’ but rather ‘The Truth is in You’.
What do you think about the exploration for truth?