Category Archives: OT/Lecturing/PhD Reviews

W is for… Why I Write (Orwell) (Book) #AtoZChallenge

W is for… Why I Write (Orwell) (Book)


This is a short little book containing four essays written by George Orwell. The one I was most interested in, is the 10 page title essay – Why I Write.

As a side note I didn’t realise he was so young when he died, only 47. A quick Google told me that he had tuberculosis. Even more surprising was that he wrote 1984 when he was ill publishing it just a year before his death.

Some choice snippets from this essay:

He talks about making up his own story – writing his life descriptively in his head (p.3)

Subject matter is determined by age the writer lives in (p.4)

Before starting writing one acquires an emotional attitude from which you can’t escape (p.4)

To escape early influences might kill the ‘impulse to write’ (p.4)

Other than for money, four main reasons to write – shifts in balance or focus on these over time:
1. Sheer egoism e.g. to be remembered
2. Aesthetic enthusiasms e.g. Perception of beauty ‘in words and their right arrangement’
3. Historical impulse e.g. Record for posterity
4. Political purpose e.g. ‘Desire to push the world in a certain direction’ (p.4-5)

‘every book is a failure’ (p.10)

‘Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand’ (p.10)

He concludes by saying that his political purpose is his driving force.

Do you recognise elements of the four main reasons to write in you? Which do you think is most important at this time?

What do you think he meant by ‘every book is a failure’ – this isn’t expanded on – is it self confidence or something else?

Do you voice-over your life, e.g. ‘Kirsty walks into the pub, spies the pool tables and fishes the 50p out of purse at the request of a friend.’? (I don’t think I do normally)

Thanks to Colin Smith for awarding me the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award.

This award comes with some rules and I will obey some and break others. Below is the award logo and also my completion of the sentence ‘A great reader is…’
The bit I’m going to break is listing 14 other people to give this award to – Sorry Colin hope you don’t mind. I’m not one for chain mails etc either. If I like what the mail says I forward it but where possible take out the send this to x no of people bit. I will however say a huge thank you to Colin in particular who has commented lots on my blog during this challenge and thank you too to each and everyone of you who have commented this month and before, especially if you’ve come back more than once – that has been very appreciated. In short I would give this to everyone who has taken time to read what I’ve written whether you’ve commented or not.

A great reader is one who reads their own story as well as the one that is written.


T is for… Transactional Perspectives on Occupation (Book) #AtoZChallenge

T is for… Transactional Perspectives on Occupation (Book)


I think I might be a little bit in love with this book. I have even read a few whole chapters of it and am planning a full read through. This is because the concepts outlined in it appear to make sense to me (I’m sure when I start reading more this will change and I will become confused again).

From the back cover:
‘An occupation is, most simply put, any activity we participate in that engages (occupies) our attention, interests, and/or expectations…’
‘The transactional perspectives articulated in this book both implicitly and explicitly suggest that occupations are forms of activity that create and re-create a multitude of our relationships with the world.’

‘In the same way that people exist within situations through occupation, they respond to these situations with occupation.’ (Dickie and Cutchin, 2013, p. 258).

This suggests looking at occupation as a response which is something I think I could explore.

Another chapter in this books highlights the importance of narrative in OT practice and provides support for spending time getting to know our clients. As I said, this book speaks sense to me (in that it fits with my worldview).

This perspective is based on the work of John Dewey and pragmatism which acknowledged the need to be flexible and do what needs doing.

Going to leave this here for now and work on my research question for supervision later this week. I do think this blogging has helped me.

Dickie, V.A. and Cutchin, M.P. (2013) Transactional Perspectives on Occupation: Main Points of Contribution in This Volume. In: Dickie, V.A. and Cutchin, M.P. (eds) (2013) Transactional Perspectives on Occupation. Dordrecht: Springer, 257-261.

What has blogging helped you discover?

S is for… Situating Everyday Life (Book) #AtoZChallenge

S is for… Situating Everyday Life (Book)


Another book I’m yet to read  – but I love the front cover of this one. I have to admit to being very grateful to my dishwasher – my back has definitely been less painful since I got one.

From the back cover:
‘This agenda-setting book provides a coherent, interdisciplinary way to engage with everyday activities and environments. Arguing for an innovative, ethnographic approach…’

Some of my fellow OTs and other online fans may be interested in Chapter 8 – The Digital Places of Everyday Life: Thinking About Activism and the Internet

Chapters for me:
Chapter 1 – Introduction: (Re) Thinking about Everyday Life and Activities
Chapter 2 – Theorising the Familiar: Practices and Places
Chapter 3 – Researching Practices, Places and Representations: Methodologies and Methods

My thoughts:
I think this book may help inform my research methodology – there seems to be discussion of use of online technologies in this (something I mentioned being interested in, in my R post on Saturday).
The idea of the everyday interests me – I have always said I want to look at the ‘everyday’ experience of creative writing rather than looking at creative writing as therapy.
A quick scan through the reference list at the back doesn’t immediately show up obvious OT or Occupational Science literature (hopefully I will find something when I look more closely, if not there is a question that needs asking again about how we can share our insights with others).
I really do love my dishwasher!!

What aspect of your everyday life do you think is worthy of further study?

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