Why I Don’t Want to Write Like An Academic
The best part about summer for me is that I actually have time to think and to write.
While I understand that may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, it definitely makes me happy even though it’s often hard work.
The challenge for me is that it sometimes means writing as an academic. By way of example, this summer my writing included co-writing a chapter for a textbook as well as writing an article for a prestigious yet somewhat traditional magazine. While both were an honour, they were also personally challenging as there’s little room for personal opinions, stories, or writing from a first person point of view.
On the other hand, I’ve also had time to write a number of blogs. For me, these were the most fun and easiest to write because they typically involved real people and stories.
That got me thinking. Why is it that we don’t use more stories in our writing related to our day to day work?
Even though we all tell stories, know we learn best from stories, and typically want to read stories, we still tend to place more value on academic writing that reflects facts and statistics. It is also typically perceived as having more credibility and being more professional.
Yes for sure, writing as an academic is important and I’ll keep plugging away. However, if we are committed to motivating and mobilizing the transformative change that is required to deal with today’s complexity, we’re going to need more than facts and statistics based on what has already taken place. That seems to be where academics are often focused – gathering research to tell us what has taken place in the past and what evidence supports.
Instead, we need to place as much focus on preparing for a world that hasn’t yet been invented. Preparing for an unknown future means supporting change, which is as much about touching people’s hearts and minds by being real about our learnings, telling stories, and doing it in an open and authentic way.
While I’m not sure I could describe a winning formula for telling a good story, I do know that each of us is, or can be, a storyteller and will have our own unique approach. However, the most effective stories seem to be those that come from the heart.
The best stories also seem to be the ones that resonate with authenticity, passion, and values. It is through stories that capture our imagination, our intuitive knowing, and our spirit that we can do more to embrace and impart an understanding of what really matters.
The best stories also seem to be the ones that resonate with authenticity, passion, and values. It is through stories that capture our imagination, our intuitive knowing, and our spirit, that we can do more to embrace and motivate the change in our communities that really matters.Posted on 08-18-22
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