And life gets in the way

With all good intentions, I committed to writing a weekly round up of the ‘Writing across borders’ course I was teaching last semester – but life got in the way.

I find blogging a curious practice. I’m still unsure as to whether it adds or subtracts from my writing – time, ideas, ability and confidence. Often I find the conversational mode not suited to the writing I want to post. Sometimes, the blog is the only writing I do for weeks but then I spend time polishing the posts and never wind up posting. Yes, it has been a long year already – health, work, home issues abound. Its been a marathon.

So, that’s part of the excuse of the hiatus in my posts about the course. The other part of the excuse is that I take quite seriously the notion that any form of ‘publishing’ – a blog, a tweet, a Facebook post – are all considered and part of my engagement with words. If I publish something then it is ‘published’, final in that form, and even if I then (as I often do) use these same topics, ideas or responses to inform other writing, the iteration needs to be substantially different. This meant that when I decided to write an academic paper about my teaching of the course, I stopped thinking and posting blog updates on the course.

I decided to write the paper, in part because of the reaction of some students – their resistance to the subject grew from week to week – so that I could think through my experience of teaching the material. I wrote it and the paper was accepted for the Australasian Association of Writing Programs  conference in November this year. Fun huh!?

The writing of the paper took centre stage and the blog moved to the side.


Dingo crossing the road, Uluru, June 2014

I also finalised an essay ‘Australia Twice Traversed‘ on my experience of visiting Uluru. It was published this month in Mascara Literary Review, along with a book review I wrote of Natalie Harkin’s superb book of poetry, Dirty Words.

I do believe that finding the right form for your story is crucial to telling it – perhaps blog posts weren’t the right form for my story of the course? I’m not sure. I will, though, be picking up some of the threads from the course over the coming months on this blog.

Stay tuned.



This entry was posted in Teaching Writing, Whiteness, Writing Across Borders, Writing Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to And life gets in the way

  1. I read your essay about Uluru, ‘Australia Twice Traversed’, and found it moving and enlightening. I’m based in England but a friend of mine, who emigrated, recently did a lap of Australia with her family. They also went to Uluru: she compared it to the time her husband went years before and climbed, not even realising how wrong this was. This time they would not have thought of doing so and I was glad to learn from her the true name. I felt sad about the contamination of a sacred place by tourists and others – and the uneasiness of stepping in to protect it. In short – a great essay. Thanks!

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