Reflection in action in my writing
Somehow to be honest, I was not writing articles or blogposts until I enrolled in the study of Content Strategy, in general, I have not written much in the past. Sure, I was writing projects, different types of reports, very often prepared press releases on projects I have worked on, but rarely, other than occasionally writing a diary, was writing articles or blogs to express my opinion or pass on my knowledge.
The reason may be that in my daily life I was more practice-oriented, and on the other hand, having a background in visual arts, I guess it was easier for me to express myself by using visual media.
The biggest challenge comes before starting to write
Before I start writing, I need time to reflect WHAT I am going to write about. I usually start to tie "things" that are already familiar to me and those that I have recently gotten to know. This phase usually takes a lot of time, and it is a big challenge to find the right topic and properly explore its domain. During this first phase, I often feel not be enough efficient in explaining things the way I would like. Sometimes I cannot find the right words, but it might also happen that such words do not exist at all. Strange, isn't it? But why?
If we know a person's face, we can recognize it among a thousand, indeed, among a million, though we usually cannot tell how we recognize a face we know. Donald A. Schön
I like to read articles that can be useful in my daily life, in a practical sense …but sometimes the knowledge gained from written shaped sources is only partial and insufficient to gain a bigger picture.
That kind of knowledge can be often very theoretical, sometimes too complex, sometimes too simplified. There is a possibility to identify a clear mismatch of theoretical knowledge and real practice situation-complexity.
When I read, for example, about how to successfully manage business processes and people there are plenty of theories but real-world situations are much more complex, often very uncertain and unstable, even turbulent. In such situations, we cannot blindly hold theories. Something else matters in such cases, something that is difficult to verbalize or sometimes is not even possible to put in a written form. Usually, theoretical knowledge is developed taking into account ideal situations, but when we are in an ideal situation? My answer would be: “Rarely”
When I was learning about Child Pedagogy, and finishing my first university degree, working in a real school situation, that knowledge was so far removed from what was happening in real situations. People are so complex and different, guided by different motives in their behaviours and there is no theory that could explain this complexity in a few steps. I really don't like blogposts, articles, or books that try to explain complex things in a few steps, especially when it comes to people and their practice. Who can be sure that there are 5 or 7 or 10 steps and not more or less than that...
In that context, I would say that I am careful when I am selecting what I will write about. I’m always considering being honest and writing from my point of view and not to be “clever” without exploring the subject domain. This first step when deciding which topic to work on and while structuring my thoughts is the most complex and time-consuming phase of my writing process.
How do I write?
Once I figure out what I am going to write about, I start reading related literature, defining my ideas, and giving them structure and form. I usually start writing without setting up parts of my text. Titles and chapters are going to be defined in the next phase. I simply write everything that comes to my mind trying to connect different realities - past insights with currently acquired know-how knowledge. Sometimes it is difficult to write in English, since my mother tongue is Croatian, and I speak Italian at my work on a daily basis. But in such a situation it is easier for me to write than to speak as I have more time available to recheck my written thoughts.
After defining the final version of my written content, I invest some time in re-reading it to make it more understandable and clear. At this stage, I start by defining headings and chapters. I decide on the blog’s title only when the text is done, when I get a complete overview of what I have written. I could say that sometimes I start with one idea and end with another, but they usually don’t differ much in the end.
Why do I write?
Yes, I am writing to finish my exams, but there are some other reasons as well. Ever since I started working on my portfolio and written several articles, I have begun to realize that the process of writing can be beneficial and might help create stronger connections between past and recently acquired knowledge. The writing process can foster additional comprehension, reveal unconscious ideas, and lay the groundwork for new actions. Writing can also improve our linguistic skills, so why not grab the opportunity and improve my writing skills!