Do not get me wrong, I am very happy with my full-time job and grateful that I have one. But since I started with my day job recently, I barely have time at my disposal to engage with other activities that are stimulating both physically (running) and mentally (writing). Like any other day jobs, mine is consuming most – if not all – of my time and I need to learn how to manage my time more wisely, so that my life will be more well-rounded.
Early this morning, while it was still dark and cold, I was already on my way to work. And as I look at the full moon that was still shining so bright as I bike to work, I promised to myself that I must do some writing as soon as I get back home. Writing is one of the many things that I find fulfilling. Now that I am back from work, I am so exhausted to do anything at all, including the one that I love the most: writing.
The main protagonist of the book I am currently reading is a Nigerian woman named Ifemelu who lives in the US. Amongst many other things, she blogs about race and racism in the host society from her perspective as a Non-African-American woman.
The title of the novel is ‘Americanah’ and it is authored by a Nigerian writer named Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. I first encounter Adiche online when she spoke on Ted Talk about ‘The Danger of a Single Story’in 2009. Her talk inspired me so much and begun following her works since then and brought me to the novel in question.
It is quite true that momentum is easier to maintain than to establish in the beginning. This is also very applicable with writing. The last time I worked with the article I promised to write was before the Holy Week.
Like what I have already mentioned in my previous posts, this article is based on the research project I have conducted while still in the graduate school. With the workbook of Laura Belcher entitled Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success as my guide, I promised to Bestow one or two hours to writing on a daily basis. Since the Holy Week, I am not able to honour that promise.
Of all the tasks I have to perform that are related to revising my research project into a journal article, it is revisiting the interview recording that I find most tedious. I always find ways to do something else that are nonetheless related to writing and push listening to the recording to the very last. Of course, I always find something to do and the day will eventually pass that I have not listened to the any of the recordings.
Tedious though as it is, I have a full Grasp of the importance of meticulously studying and revisiting the primary sources from which evidences are drawn that will strengthen the argument the article holds. In ethnographic works, the words of the respondents from the community being studied is the beating heart of the project. As Wendy Belcher puts it: ‘you must engage with the original literature at a deep level; there are no shortcuts’ (2009: 142).
It is Monday. A new week has begun. I like Monday because it gives me a sense that a new cycle has begun and that I could start a fresh. It is an opportunity to do better than the last. For some, at least in my own particular case, how we tackle our Mondays may set the tone on how we may tackle the rest of our week.
My week begun beautifully and productively. I woke up very early because I have to go to work. Now that I am back home from work, I allowed myself a cup of coffee and a peanut butter sandwich and instead of turning on the television, I am sitting behind my desk writing this particular blog entry. Continue reading
It has been quite a while since the last time I have updated this dear blog-site of mine and I am starting to feel rather guilty if not worried about it. The last time I have posted a blog entry here was last February 10 entitled To Be Published or Not To Be Published: Writing for the Sake of Writing, which is quite ironic because here, I talked about how I love writing and my promise to write, but did not write since then.
Aside from the huge delay, I have also realized that the blog entry of the 10th of February was the only journal entry I have posted for the month of February. This is quite a contradiction with the frequency I have posted last month. Last month, I have had 11 posts in total.
While still in grad school and still at the onset of my research project, I came across this workbook authored by Wendy Laura Belcher entitled ‘Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success’. The title is very catching and captivating especially to those want to pursue academic publication. To borrow the words of Spivak, to be published is something ‘one cannot not want’.
To pursue publication is a very daunting prospect because writing can be a very scary, painful and frustrating process. Yet, the title of the workbook somehow seems to insist that, on the contrary to what one might think, writing a journal article is not only possible but also relatively easy. It does not only guarantee that one can finish a journal article but also Insists that it can be finished on the 12th week.
An empty page is quite intimidating. It is daunting to look at empty, blank, white page whether it be a word document on the screen computer or a piece of actual paper on one’s desk. To paraphrase Fredrich Nietzsche: ‘when you gaze long into an empty page, the empty page will gaze back into you.’ For a couple of days now, I have been staring into a blank empty page and although it is Static, it has a life ad will of it’s own. The empty page can reciprocate the gaze and it does look down at me.
A professional writer I am not and perhaps I will never be. I do not possess the necessary talent, creativity, and discipline to become a published author or to earn a living from the craft of writing. Although writer I am not, writing I love nonetheless. There is nothing more gratifying, at least for me personally, to strike an empty page with words of my own expressing my thoughts however incoherent these thoughts might be.
Just quite recently, I have developed a daily exercise which I would like to refer to as ‘The Study Game’. I allocate Almost three to four hours of my day for this stimulating mental exercise. The Study Game entails that I sit behind my desk and play pretend. I pretend that I am still studying in the university and with the help of the syllabi I have collected from each course I have taken, I am retracing my steps since day one in the graduate school.
When I read and study the texts required for one particular week in that particular course, I read and study them seriously as if I am, again, Almost preparing for an examination or a class presentation. Basically, what I am doing is retaking the courses I took in grad school for the second time around on my own and on my own time. The graduate school has provided me the theoretical concepts and methodological tools that enables me to study and work independently.
Now that I am no longer in the university, I miss the university so much. The academic environment is one of those rare spaces in which I feel free and empowered. For as long as I can remember, I have always liked going to school and being in a classroom.
I am not one of the brightest students in all the classes I have attended in the past. In fact, I do not really consider myself to be bright or intelligent at all. Learning for me is a struggle. I have had no idea of what I was doing most of the time. Nonetheless, I enjoyed studying and learning.