Prior to the Writing Lives module this semester, blogging was a concept I was highly unfamiliar with. When I was first introduced to the module, I remember being very apprehensive; WordPress seemed like a complex, baffling website, which I never thought I would get to grips with! This, however, has not been the case as I now understand most of its components. Also before entering the world of blogging, my writing style was exclusively essayistic. Now, however, I feel my writing has become enhanced and I can now confidently adapt my writing to different purposes.
After our lecture in which we pulled apart the Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiographies, in order to choose an author to base our blogging upon, I was spoilt for choice. Various authors, from all different cultures, struck me as intriguing. Ultimately, I made the decision to study Jessie Ravenna Sharman’s memoir as she was involved in the teaching profession; as I am aiming to enter the teaching profession, I deemed it beneficial to study Sharman’s memoir.
By researching Sharman’s life, I have gained an insight into early twentieth century Britain and Norwich in particular as this is where Sharman was born and lived her whole life. To embark on her chosen career path of teaching, she went to a number of schools and colleges in Norwich, many of which still stand today. By using websites to enrich my research, such as Ancestry.com, I discovered my author’s Birth Certificate, Census Register and Marriage Certificate – all of which improved the knowledge I already had about my author. These official documents made my author come to life.
Twitter has played a very important role in the promotion of my blog and the Writing Lives website in general. Thankfully, I had already got the grasp of twitter through having a personal account, although I had never used to academically. As a group, we also interacted with other social media websites, such as Facebook, although I found Twitter to be the most suitable and beneficial when it came to the promoting of our blogs. Through Twitter, we could proof-read the work of our peers, give them any feedback we deemed necessary and they would do the same with our work in return. This system of proof-reading has proved to be very effective and beneficial to the members of our group.
Being part of the Writing Lives Collaborative Research Project has been a highly rewarding concept. To know that my work has been published on a credible, academic project which fellow researchers can access has filled me with an abundant sense of pride; helping others in their research of Working-Class Britain has proved to be very fulfilling.