Lilian Westall (Born 1893); Researching Writing Lives

This module gave me the memoir of Lilian Westall, a woman I will never forget. From the very beginning of the module Westall was interesting, intelligent and charismatic. I could not wait to find out more about her.

Writing Lives opened my eyes to how far research can take you and ow much can be accomplished in this day and age with archives, historical documents and a simple memoir. Lilian Westall was a working class girl in the height of World War 1. Her story was unknown and her character was lost in working class history. This module gave Westall a voice and has allowed the public to learn about real history. To explore different members of social classes and places. I have been able to give someone a voice that only this module could achieve.

I have gained a lot from this module. In terms of researching a person that was not famous or well-known I had no experience. It was a difficult process but the drive and motivation I gained from the classes and the other students made it easier. I was so curious about how far I could go into Lilian Westall’s life and how much information I could find as a new researcher.

I surprised myself in how much I found, from the archives and collections shared by my module leader Dr Helen Rogers.  The range of contextual information and resources made it exciting and made me more curious in every lecture. Lilian Westall was just another domestic worker during World War 1, but every week she became more real and more interesting. She became a real person, with a real story to tell. That is all thanks to Writing Lives as an organisation and module.

In terms of blogging I have been an avid blogger from a young age, but I never categorized or organised my blogs into themes or topics. By setting my blog posts on themes it made the process more fluent and readable. I have a better understanding of how to keep a reader enticed and how to keep the reader up to date in an organised fashion.

My writing style has improved and I am more coherent and careful when it comes to explaining my research or express my opinions. This is extremely important for my future career as a writer.

The use of social media has been extremely helpful. I was able to see fellow course mates blogs and how they were getting on. I was also able to connect with other blog websites and researching websites that gave me more knowledge on the writing process and other resources to look at for my blogs. Posting my work kept me in order and let my work become public. Twitter allowed my blogs to be read and enjoyed by more than just my course mates and fellow students. This made the module more rewarding and kept me connected to the research that so many people do everyday.

I have learnt a lot more than I expected from this module. I am glad I was able  to research and learn about Lilian Westall. She showed me that hard work and perseverance make a life interesting. Westall taught me that no matter where you come from, you are important and worth while.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *