After some persistence, I am now able to think of myself as ‘an independent writer and researcher’ or as an ‘independent thinker-writer’.
By this I mean that I work for myself – not in the simple sense of being self-employed, but of being self-occupied and self-directed ie the things that I write are things that I have chosen to write rather than being commissioned or contracted, or determined by any influencing organisation. I also mean that more than 50% of my self-occupying development activity is connected with writing, researching, thinking and publishing.
This is structured around four main pillars of activity:
- Ebooks in a variety of genres and styles. These are published via the Amazon Kindle site and are accessible via kindle readers, ipads, mobile phones, personal computers, laptops etc.
- Poems of varying quality, written for a variety of purposes. These have been much improved by participation in poetry events and courses.
- Blogs via WordPress. Two are relatively active and one is waiting to be kickstarted back into use. Of the two active ones, there is this one setting out my approaches to writing, and another which sets out the background thinking to my overall development activity R:2025.
- Website Articles on the www.thewordsthething.org.uk site. It is this fourth pillar of my writing activity that I want to explore further, below.
Writers are encouraged to have a website but usually this is for publicity and promotion of their ‘main’ writing output. In my case the website is seen as a main form of writing in its own right.
The site has been deliberately constructed in a way that:
- Sets a tone of being ‘exploratory’, ‘thinking tentatively about’, ‘as an informed amateur’. It does not set itself out as being expert or definitive.
- Has the feel of being something of a compendium or bazaar ie encourages people to wander, to ramble around a bit, to stumble upon things rather than there being a clearly-directed layout to take the reader to a product by the most direct route. It is intended to be broad-based rather than narrowly-targeted.
- Has a gallery of photographs, selected for passing interest, but mostly is unashamedly somewhat ‘wordy’ as opposed to the current trend for things to be snappy, bite-sized or highly-visual. The aim is for longhand rather than soundbite.
- Is structured around overarching themes that reflect my framework of interests: Language and Writing; Art and Creativity; Place and Locality; People and Society; Policy and Research; Learning and Work; with a catch-all Odds and Ends section.
To date, the site has more than thirty substantial articles on topics as diverse as:
trends in politics; puzzles re autism; identity; planning; bureaucracy; poverty and inequality; forms of writing; employability, work and core skills; researcher roles; ideas of contemporary, progress, flourishing and change; learning in a non-traditional way; issues in cities today; and local history.
There is still more to be done on other lines of interest, including:
- Local jobs, living wages, reasonable expenditures that work for society in general
- Learning and development that will enable more people to move on
- Concerns re wellbeings and sustainabilities (personal and public)
- Approaches to notions of social value and social impact
- Nature of evidence, research, explorations and understandings
- Support for, and usefulness of, art and creativity
- Aspects of how people operate in contexts of uncertainty and contingency
- Policies and their implementations (or failure to implement)
- Considerations of public/private
- Incompatibilities of various ideas and beliefs
…. all of which will keep me occupied thinking, researching and writing for some time yet…..