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May 7, 2018 | by  | in Opinion PGSA |
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Postgrad Informer

Do you think we write enough?

“Writing” is an indispensable practice of our postgraduate lives. Every day we run our fingertips across the keyboard, whether it’s long before sunrise, amid the bustle of our favorite café, or when our cat’s heavy breaths become the only desirable soundtrack of our hectic scholarly moments.  

In my third year at VUW I still believe I do not write enough, and that I do not write enough of what affects my intellectual journey. Like everyone else here, I write on a daily basis, but I write “according to” him or her, or just in passive voice, bringing ideas from the long-forgotten layers of history or the dark, dusted corners of an archive, onto the freshly emerging pages of what I hope to be a monumental contribution to the global knowledge.

Yet, alas! I do not put the peaks and valleys of my personal journey on paper; I do not bring out thoughts and feelings from the depths of my heart and my head. I do not claim my voice; I do not “write myself”.

I hear you say that we write about ourselves, in a good variety of ways, from a short bio note in the cover letter of a job application, in our CVs, to the bottom paragraph of a scholarly article or a conference abstract we have just sent for consideration, with the intention to impress.

The kind of writing we’re missing does not intend to display a perfect image of us. It is not concerned about judgements and approvals of a prospective reader. The kind of writing I’m advocating here, instead, simply transcribes that tiny moment at which we smiled, got excited, boiled, felt low, or even cried.  

So, grab your pen and paper, cuddle your needy kitty, and sit to jot those moments down! Don’t worry about the time you spend on “writing yourself”, and remember only once those thoughts and feelings get out of your head and heart will you find the space to read more articles, and the peace of mind to write your thesis better.


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