One More Writing Class - This Time @Aarhus BSS
In the end of last year, I signed up to another academic writing class because of a requirement of the degree. As visible in the blog, I have searched writing advises online and also participated to an academic writing class with emphasis on grant application writing (very relevant in Finnish system that doesn't guarantee salary for PhD students unlike the Danish model). Previously, I had participated to a writing class aimed for PhD's with my master thesis at Stanford. Thus, my experiences are quite broad.
Today, I want to reflect a little of the recent class. We had a groups of three students, two reviewers per one article. We discussed my paper and the discussion highlighted the same that my host here says (he is the best btw). I should explain more, elaborate more and, in general, describe more. Shortness is my writing type, it seems. The opposite would be being too wordy. Yep, no wordiness problem in academic contexts. In the end, however, the discussion of writing process with procrastination and writers blocks was something that gave me the most. My group mates labelled me as very structured, a feature I have worked a lot to obtain. When hearing about this blog, they said "ahaaa" that's why you have a flow in your text. I am not so sure about that (I actually blame editing learned at a writing class) but keeping a blog has served well my growth as a writer.
First of all, writing things here has made me structure my thoughts. Yet, it has also been a good place to practice writing. I warmly recommend blogging to other young PhD students: it helps with many writing issues and also offers (sometimes a well needed) escape from data work etc. A Blog is also a fantastic feedback mechanism - even without much comments from the internet (like in my case). Sometimes, blog offers a view to your development as a writer and/or thinker. Other times, you can get the fantastic feeling of "hey! This text about X wasn't that bad!". Another big lesson learned is to hand out your writing - to decide that now it's good enough, to let it go/fly/get read. Text are never finished and some mistakes are fine. However, I must admit that this issue is still there with the purely academic writing but presumably practice helps also there.
There sure are many more good reasons to start or have a blog. What would motivate you the most? Or have you thought about starting a blog?
This might sound like a good bye, but it certainly isn't. My PhD project is just in a different state now and the speed is getting so high it seems that I really don't have enough time [to write about all the fascinating observations that I have collected from Danish way of life etc] for updating the blog like I would like to. Additionally, the current plan is to make the most of the guidance that I am getting here at Aarhus BSS, CFA. Sometimes you just met the best mentor for you and getting the most out of the advises is then the first priority. I hope you do meet one. :)
I wish you a sunny spring!