communicating ideas

Just thinking about finding strategies for adopting different kinds of voices or ways of writing. I’m not sure about Jones’ use of the word knowledge in the context of DPaR, but his simple strategies might help you to either a) overcome your uncertainty about writing and/or b) challenge the assumptions you might be making about the language you use:

Communicate your own ideas in different ways.
You know a lot about your subject but when was the last time you saw it from someone else’s perspective? Write about your knowledge in a completely different way to see it afresh. For example, how would you explain your knowledge to :

  1. A 10-year-old child
  2. Someone who doesn’t have much time
  3. Someone who likes pictures
  4. Someone who despises creativity
  5. Someone who really doesn’t understand why researchers need to do so much thinking…

— Derek Jones (2014) ‘Prepare your mind’,  In Bite, 28–30. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

clutch of ideas about writing

Some types of writing (although I would imagine Alys has a few more up her sleeve):

  • poetic
  • reflective
  • analytical
  • productive

I don’t quite know what I meant by productive writing, but I think it has to do with the kind of writing you do (at it involves overcoming quite a bit of inertia) when you set out to ‘write the thing’. I mean, today I am going to write a research proposal. I’ve been circling around it for a long time – researching, playing with phrases, ideas. But today, I am going to productively write it. Is it like flipping a switch?

Other kinds of writing you might consider:

  • questioning – writing only in question format, and writing responses to those questions with more questions
  • categorising – organising writing where you start to place or piece together seemingly disparate ideas

But, for me, productive writing is the main dude. It places us in the position of making something (in this case writing). Poetic writing might also be productive, but what if, today, you spent just an hour writing what this project is. Not notes, not vague ideas, or quotes, or small reflections, but you produced a proposal for your dpar project (based on all of the work you have done to this stage). This wouldn’t mean you have to stick to it, but it could be a prototype, or a line in the sand, or something against which you can push and struggle, and practice.