The Writing Lives project has been an eye-opening and worthwhile experience, that I have thoroughly enjoyed the more time went on. When I chose my working-class author, Amy Frances Gomm; I did not anticipate the attachment I would feel towards her, especially as I turned that final page of her 55,000 word memoir, ‘Water Under the Bridge’.
I have always been an advocate for equality and have always held a strong passion for the exploration of gender binaries and what is not considered the norm for each gender. I chose Amy Frances Gomm because I was keen to develop my understanding of how gender boundaries have changed throughout British history, and I thought that Amy’s memoir would provide me with the perfect opportunity to do this. Researching Amy has empowered me to live her own experiences through her words, enabling me to more adequately understand the restrictions and struggles a young working class girl faced in the early 20th Century.
These gender struggles were relevant throughout her memoir, especially when she reveals some of the harsh realities of the First World War, with Amy delving into great detail of the rationing of foods as well as the eerie aftermath as the men returned from battle. Because the blog posts we were expected to complete covered a wide variety of topics such as ‘Reading and Writing’ to ‘Life and Labour’, this research project has allowed me to travel back in time myself, and explore an entirely different world to the one we now live in.
I had never blogged before, therefore it was an undiscovered territory of reading and writing I was yet to learn about. There were some alterations that were needed to be made to my first few blogs, because my writing style was too formal and more suited to essay writing, rather than an informative research blog. I also learnt how to change the format of my blog, allowing me to make it appear more aesthetic and easier to read. The project made me aware of the benefits to social media, and how it can be used as a platform to get your own work read by those across the world. It has been an extremely rewarding process to see the progress I have made as a researcher, as well as my own fellow classmates. I enjoyed the support and interaction that was able to be provided through our shared social media page on Twitter, which eventually led to some of my posts being featured on other archiving pages such as ‘The Children’s History Society.’
The Writing Lives Research Project has certainly been a highlight of my university teaching. A module filled with life stories and interpretations, becoming a temporary archivist has been an intriguing experience, which has opened my eyes to future career paths in relation to the matter. I was proud of the obstacles I overcame as I created my blog, and sincerely loved getting to know my author, Amy Frances Gomm. The final hopes I hold for my writings is that they continue to be shared with everyone, and have contributed to public history in a significant way, as I can only imagine that is what Amy would have wanted.