Nora Lumb (b. 1912) Researching Writing Lives

Despite being familiar with the blog writing style through part time work as a marketing assistant and past modules in university such as Prison Voices and Digital Writing, the Writing Lives Collaborative Research Project has opened my eyes to a new type of work.

This module has allowed me to develop my knowledge and skills in different aspects of blog writing. My knowledge and past experiences of this type of work revolved around blogs focusing on ‘Top Tips for Revising’ and ‘18th and 19th Century Crime and Punishment’. With this project, the type of informative and storytelling work I was completing was extremely out of my comfort zone and not something I had studied before.

Not only have I worked on and improved and expanding my blogging skills during the collaborative research project, but I have also realised the importance of social media to compliment other forms of online writing. To make full use of social media for this module, I created my own Twitter account and tweeted regular updates and shared my blogs to make an audience aware of them. I have thoroughly enjoyed the social media side of this collaborative project because it has opened my eyes to the opportunities social media provides for getting new people to read your work!

Nora Lumb’s autobiographical entry to the Burnett Collection was 12 pages and written in July 1987 on a typewriter when Nora was 75. Her memoir focuses on her childhood memories from 1912-1923. This was a crucial part of her life due to her education and family life.

Reading Nora’s memoir gave me a great amount of respect for my author as I read about the trials and tribulations of her early life. I believe I am at a great advantage as I have learnt first-hand from an author about daily life in the early 20th Century. Receiving the first-hand experience from Nora has allowed me to take her advice into my own life.

One of Nora’s greatest pleasures in life was her education, which I could easily relate to. She also increased my love of education thanks to her fantastic biographical entry. I think this is what attracted me to her story so much.

In this module, I have been given the opportunity, not only to study and learn about my own author but read other authors and enjoy my peers’ interpretations of their memoirs. Authors I found most interesting and thoroughly enjoyed reading were ‘William Wright’, who was a child chimney sweep and has made his way into Nora’s Life and Labour blog, and May Jones, who I have included in Nora Lumb’s War and Memory blog. All these authors were extremely different and gave my work variation and comparison aspects.

I am extremely grateful for this learning experience because the Writing Lives project has given me the opportunity to contribute to public history through my blogs and help Nora leave her stamp on the world.

The work I completed wouldn’t have been possible without Bronagh Haughey and Chris, my group of collaborative researchers who have constantly proofread and improved my blogs before publication.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity that Writing Lives has created for me and I feel like this is only the start of my research into Nora’s life.

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