Thinking and writing and publishing

Last month the NTU research seminar programme (it’s not called this but I forget its title) held a session that was led by Anthony Haynes of P&H. The objective was to look at the ways in which ‘academics’ get published. Two themes emerged that were, in some ways, both parallel and tangential to this.

  • Does writing precede or follow publishing?
  • Does writing precede or follow thinking?

To this end the notion of regular writing was discussed. The oft described (and observed) image of the researcher with daybook, recording thoughts, observations, references. Writing little and often. This was where the decision to keep this blog came from. Writing a little each day, building up patterns of thought.

How do I know what I am thinking until I see what I am writing?.

The concept of writing up is one that is often cited as filling PhD candidates with dread. The concept of the blank page doing the same for authors. But if you take the starting point that you are writing for a purpose (a thesis, or a publication) and if you take the viewpoint that thinking and writing are indivisible then maybe these dreaded inertias may be avoided. I don’t know, but it seems to be a reasonable premise at this stage…


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