One of the things I consistently struggled with when I was doing postgraduate studies a few years ago was writing like an academic. I was constantly told I was writing too informally. I’ve had that feedback in other parts of my life too, from time to time.
But here’s the thing I’ve learned about myself. While I can write like an academic, I don’t want to.
Writing Unlike An Academic
I like talking to people in …well… more human ways. I like conversational speaking and learning. My favourite lecturer when I did postgrad went off the best tangents in her classes – and they were the best because they made everything relateable, which was really important for a subject with a focus on understanding complex global theories in practical ways.
Maybe that makes me “lesser” in some eyes. Maybe those eyes have an opinion I don’t need. Maybe all aspects and “levels” of writing have their place and we need to stop comparing. It has been a bit of a mental block for me in finishing Fuck Should, because my original plan was that I “had” to include summaries of a ton of academic information to make sure it was “worthy” of being published. Which is bizarre in itself, seeing as some academics look down on publishable works that get turned into “airport reading” books.
Basically, I’ve learned something about myself, and that is good. But it also means unlearning a lot of inbuilt habits and thoughts that I don’t automatically question, which makes it a bit of a work in progress.
But who wants to be a finished person?
How do you feel about academic writing? Any tips for unlearning old habits?