Writing an author blog has been one of the most interesting and gratifying projects of my academic career. I have learned all about the life and labour of Albert Mansbridge and have been able to pass his story on to an audience who will treat it with respect. By participating in the writing lives project I have been able to develop my skills as a researcher, as a blogger, and, more importantly, as an academic. I have gained confidence in my writing and taken advantage of the resources given to me to allow myself to proudly present the work on Albert Mansbridge and his life.
I am confident that my author blog has contributed to public history by reminding us of a few of the many individuals who repeatedly fought for the equal education of the nation. The immense progress brought about by the workings of such institutions as the WEA have often been taken for granted. It is both refreshing and satisfying to pay testimony to these political soldiers by remembering and passing on their stories.
Having previously participated in the Prison Voices project, I was already accustomed to the ways in which a blog should be done. However, the Writing Lives project offered a more in-depth research blog surrounding a more focused topic. Because of this I have become more aware of what it takes to become a researcher – constantly seeking out new information which could unveil an interesting and thought-provoking secret. This in turn made me aware of the ways in which I was writing as I realised that, though I was confident in my abilities, it was essential for me to be concise with my writing. This limit helped me to develop the quality of my writing when discussing research.
By using social media to drive the work which myself and other students had produced, I was able to see what platforms worked better than others, as well as seeing which methods of advertisement got the most attention. Platforms such as Twitter worked better than platforms such as Facebook as it is much more public and concise. This allows for work to travel faster than through other platforms which limit your viewing to those who know yourself (or those who have shared your work).
In my time working on this project I have become more aware of the ways in which blogging is different to the normal assignments which I have faced in my academic career. There is much more freedom in a project like this to promote one’s individuality and create an interesting, enjoyable, and interactive piece of work. I believe that blogging offers a more creative and fun alternative to the normal, regimented assignments that I have previously completed.
Coming away from the project I can take away an accomplishment which will set me apart from my peers. I am now experienced in a field not normally associated with an English degree. I have developed skills and abilities which will support me in my future academic career and guide me on my next research-based challenge.