I've recently had two pieces published about my textile research. They are polar opposites. One, an academic article published for a university journal. The second, a more narrative ramble for a beautiful online journal. Both can be found on the "Publications" page, and both are free to read.
I find it interesting to reflect on 'writing', especially as I've never considered myself as a writer. I must admit I enjoy it far more now than I did in my younger years. I was typecast as the creative artist, which I was proud of. Apparently you couldn't be good at more than one subject in my time at high school. I've freed myself from this pigeonhole, finally.
The academic article is my very first 'published' work. This is a big deal in the career of an academic. Which will be great if that is the career I end up having! I wrote most of it just after my little boy was born - he must have been two months old, and I must have been crazy. I think it was an attempt to grasp onto my pre-mumma self, to prove that I could still engage with the world in coherent sentences. It was a surprise when the article was accepted. Fortunately the editors were open to new researchers and writers, and were incredibly supportive and helpful in the dotting and crossing of letters/words/sentences/paragraphs. I've only just ordered printed copies of the journal, which will become a memento to the realisation I can write, I enjoy writing, and a reminder to never to sign up for something like that after a big life change. Famous last words.
The online article was written with a more personal, narrative tone. It describes my textile research in the months leading up to becoming a mumma, and I'm so glad I captured it in words. I can remember the time and space available to me to think and walk and write. I'm just finding that time and space again (albeit in small patches) eighteen months on. I'm sure I've mythologised my memories in the haze of parenting mayhem, but all I can see is dappled sunlight, sparkling water, creative making and picnic blankets in my mind's eye.
It was thrilling when both articles went live. I was so happy to have conquered my writing insecurities. I'm tackling a particularly challenging chapter of my thesis this month. Knowing that I've had a few wins is the encouragement I need at the moment.
I wonder if you have thoughts on becoming a writer? Were you writing from birth? Did someone encourage you to keep going? What do you love about writing? There is a lot to love, it seems!