Normally writing is quite a painful process for me. Forcing my chaotic thought-process into a linear piece of writing is challenging. It often makes me feel uncomfortable about myself and question my decisions. If I cannot bring them down in writing into a coherent story, how can they be good thoughts? Maybe what sounded like a good idea when I explained it in a chat was not such a good idea after all if I could not bring it down? As a result I was always quite vague when describing my project to others – I do something around technology and dementia.
But the last month of my binge-writing has changed this. I forced myself to go back to the items I was a bit unsure about, re-read a lot of the papers I had read more than a year ago and was not completely sure about anymore. In addition to giving me confidence by making me more assured about what I know it also helped as I could tell that my purpose had shifted over the last year and a half. Instead of reading everything I could get my hands on and worrying how to make sense out of it all, I re-read these papers with specific questions. I have grown as a researcher and the leader of this project. When going back to earlier versions of writing I could also see how my writing has come along. I used to hide a lot behind other people’s quotes and struggled with finding the link between what I read, which in turn created the feared ‘list’-style. In the newest version I have found a much stronger voice, linking points and articles more strongly and critically, highlighting why they have been included in the report. Obviously that meant killing a lot of darlings throughtout the way.
In addition I am much clearer about the aims of my project. I expect for my project to add to the discourse around dementia and technology, create new directions for design and development and add to the understanding how critical design can be used as a method. All of these are connected and I have put it off to decide what my key aim is, which meant I put off deciding on a researc question. I expected that would weaken my focus as I would concentrate on one thing only and drop the others. Instead of losing direction I gained confidence as I looked deeper into how my research aims are related and how they relate to the methods I chose. I still think the different aims are connected, but understanding how they build on each other, chosing the one that for me is the most important has helped to talk about my project in more detail more easily.