Sunday, 9 November 2014

Switching modes of thinking

Another quick post. I'm spending regular time writing my second article from my PhD. In my experience, I do better work when I tap into a 'direction of travel' in my thinking, not simply recounting experience. Perhaps it is obvious to say that we write to understand and to enlarge our understanding. That is all well and good, but the downside to this is that despite the best plans ( I have got one) the way forward isn't always clear, as I'm on the edge of my understanding. So, there are two main challenges at the minute - conceptual (what do I mean exactly), narrative/technical (how do I say it). I am loving it and hating it.

I say this because I am finding the need to regularly get 'unstuck' and to be clear about what and how I am writing. One strategy I am using to help in this regard is to sketch out ideas. I do mean sketch - rough, quick, messy things not designed for public consumption. I use my iPad and Wacom digital pen for this, and save them to Evernote.

What I find useful about doing this is the ability to switch modes of thinking. Visualising ideas, in any given form, helps me to conceptualise things differently, relate ideas and ask different questions. In many ways, that is the theme of this blog and I hope to post thoughts here over the next few months from my teaching, research and writing about the visual as mode of knowledge (epistemology) and doing (methodology).