The process of writing can be long, difficult and extremely painful. I was described in the last EdD weekend as being a ‘relentless’ writer (or was it ‘obsessive’, I can’t remember now). It has not always been this way. I am not sure it is now actually.
A few years ago, I went on a three-day writing retreat. This was not connected to my PhD or academic job. It was years before I even considered doing a doctorate. In fact, I went on the retreat because I had to write something about my work as a youthworker. This would be for publication and had a key role in trying to secure future funding. I had been struggling to write this publication for months and months. I had got as far as a few drafts but I was not happy with any of them. In short, I did not know what to say or how to say it. I had no sense of my own voice.
This retreat helped me to develop my own style and to find my voice. Many participants had ‘writers block’ and did not know where to start. The tutors actually made us write – something, anything – believing that getting started was the hardest step. It was so challenging. But I wrote. And since that, I have never really stopped.
I am reminded of this because our new EdD students are preparing the first drafts of their first assignments. I can almost sense the anxiety in the air.
This is one of the first things that I wrote on the writer’s retreat. My thoughts are with you as you get started on this writing journey.