Venting about writing while writing

I am doing a Ph.D., in case this was not clear. 

From what I understood so far (i.e. in the last 15 months), a Phd is a huge amount of work, that you are usually meant to accomplish in 3 years - after that, you won't really be paid - sorry! I meant economically supported! The work you are meant to do is an original research about a topic that (usually) someone chose for you. This would involve writing a thesis, or publishing some articles to offer new knowledge to the human community! yeah, this last sentence sound amazing!

Well, the work you are meant to do does also probably involve lots of stress and fears of not being good enough.

But especially, a PhD is mostly about being able to communicate - your research, your findings, your ideas - to a specialised public (but not only: fight the ivory tower!).

As a non-native English speakers, I face many challenges in daily writing - including the compulsive search for idiomatic expression in Google, the invention of unknown words (e.g. evolved for evoluted), or vernacular hybridisation (yeah, so anthropological!) of Italian words (which I often find out: they exist: as so, elucubrazione became elucubration, proficuo became proficuos, etc).

But also, communicating academic findings and contents is damn difficult! You need to explain careful, to slow down the description, not to take anything for granted, to sign post the reader and to avoid implicit knowledge and assumption. Possibly no one can do all this!

Anytime I think about all this, an old Professor from when I was a student in Anthropology comes to my mind: "what does an anthropologist do? an anthropologist writes, writes, writes!". That's not reassuring, and for as much as I think that there are many other things an Anthropologist could do, he was right in suggesting that we need to be able to put into words all our speculative thoughts about social practices and cultural variations. This is making things is even more difficult.

I am crap at writing, but my mum always said I am good. I wanna believe her!

I am not sure what I am, what I should write, what an Anthropologist does. I just know I need a public, I need engagement! And not for "the impact", just to feel a bit less lonely.

So here I am, and please be in touch with any suggestions or advices!

Personal fieldwork notes_Jordan, October 2018


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